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1.  A Community-Driven Intervention for Prostate Cancer Screening in African Americans 
The purpose of the study was to assess the impact of an educational intervention on prostate cancer screening behavior and knowledge. Participants were 104 African American men, 45 years and older, who had not been screened for prostate cancer with a prostate-specific antigen and/or digital rectal exam within the past year. All participants received an intervention delivered by trained lay community educators using a prostate cancer educational brochure developed in collaboration with the community, with structured interviews preintervention and 3 months postintervention. The main study outcomes included prostate-specific antigen screening rates during the 3-month interval and knowledge, barriers to screenings, and decisional conflict around screening. Compared with the 46 men who did not get screened, the 58 participants who got screened were more likely to have greater than a high school education, annual household incomes ≥$25,000, and a family history of non-prostate cancer (p < .05). Average knowledge scores increased, and barriers to screening scores decreased, from preintervention to postintervention only for participants who had been screened (p < .05). The results of this study demonstrate the feasibility and efficacy of an academic institution collaborating with the African American community to develop a successful prostate cancer educational intervention, an approach that can be expanded to other cancers and other chronic diseases.
PMCID: PMC4576992  PMID: 22508702
African American; cancer prevention and screening; community-based participatory research; community health promotion; health disparities
2.  Association of a Modified Frailty Index With Mortality After Femoral Neck Fracture in Patients Aged 60 Years and Older 
Frailty, a multidimensional syndrome entailing loss of energy, physical ability, cognition, and health, plays a significant role in elderly morbidity and mortality. No study has examined frailty in relation to mortality after femoral neck fractures in elderly patients.
We examined the association of a modified frailty index abbreviated from the Canadian Study of Health and Aging Frailty Index to 1- and 2-year mortality rates after a femoral neck fracture. Specifically we examined: (1) Is there an association of a modified frailty index with 1- and 2-year mortality rates in patients aged 60 years and older who sustain a low-energy femoral neck fracture? (2) Do the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves indicate that the modified frailty index can be a potential tool predictive of mortality and does a specific modified frailty index value demonstrate increased odds ratio for mortality? (3) Do any of the individual clinical deficits comprising the modified frailty index independently associate with mortality?
We retrospectively reviewed 697 low-energy femoral neck fractures in patients aged 60 years and older at our Level I trauma center from 2005 to 2009. A total of 218 (31%) patients with high-energy or pathologic fracture, postoperative complication including infection or revision surgery, fracture of the contralateral hip, or missing documented mobility status were excluded. The remaining 481 patients, with a mean age of 81.2 years, were included. Mortality data were obtained from a state vital statistics department using date of birth and Social Security numbers. Statistical analysis included unequal variance t-test, Pearson correlation of age and frailty, ROC curves and area under the curve, Hosmer-Lemeshow statistics, and logistic regression models.
One-year mortality analysis found the mean modified frailty index was higher in patients who died (4.6 ± 1.8) than in those who lived (3.0 ± 2; p < 0.001), which was maintained in a 2-year mortality analysis (4.4 ± 1.8 versus 3.0 ± 2; p < 0.001). In ROC analysis, the area under the curve was 0.74 and 0.72 for 1- and 2-year mortality, respectively. Patients with a modified frailty index of 4 or greater had an odds ratio of 4.97 for 1-year mortality and an odds ratio of 4.01 for 2-year mortality as compared with patients with less than 4. Logistic regression models demonstrated that the clinical deficits of mobility, respiratory, renal, malignancy, thyroid, and impaired cognition were independently associated with 1- and 2-year mortality.
Patients aged 60 years and older sustaining a femoral neck fracture, with a higher modified frailty index, had increased 1- and 2-year mortality rates, and the ROC analysis suggests that this tool may be predictive of mortality. Patients with a modified frailty index of 4 or greater have increased risk for mortality at 1 and 2 years. Clinical deficits of mobility, respiratory, renal, malignancy, thyroid, and impaired cognition also may be independently associated with mortality. The modified frailty index may be a useful tool in predicting mortality, guiding patient and family expectations and elucidating implant/surgery choices. Further prospective studies are necessary to strengthen the predictive power of the index.
Level of Evidence
Level IV, prognostic study. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
PMCID: PMC3916591  PMID: 24166073
3.  High-energy Femur Fractures Increase Morbidity but not Mortality in Elderly Patients 
Trauma centers are projected to have an increase in the number of elderly patients with high-energy femur fractures. Greater morbidity and mortality have been observed in these patients. Further clarification regarding the impact of high-energy femur fractures is necessary in this population.
Our purpose was to assess the influence of high-energy femur fractures on mortality and morbidity in patients 60 years and older. Specifically, we asked (1) if the presence of a high-energy femur fracture increases in-hospital, 6-month, and 1-year mortality in patients 60 years and older, and (2) if there is a difference in morbidity (number of complications, intensive care unit [ICU] and total hospital length of stay, discharge disposition, accompanying fractures, and surgical intervention) between patients 60 years and older with and without high-energy femur fractures.
A retrospective review of 242 patients was performed. Patients with traumatic brain injury or spine injury with a neurologic deficit were excluded. A control group, including patients admitted secondary to high-energy trauma without femur fractures, was matched by gender and Injury Severity Score (ISS). In-hospital mortality, 6-month and 1-year mortality, complications, ICU and total hospital length of stay, discharge disposition, accompanying fractures, surgical intervention, and covariates were recorded. Statistical analyses using Fisher’s exact test, ANOVA, Kaplan-Meier estimates, and Cox regression models were performed to show differences in mortality (in-hospital, 6-month, 1-year), complications, length of ICU and total hospital stay, discharge disposition, surgical intervention, and accompanying fractures between elderly patients with and without femur fractures. The average ages of the patients were 72.8 years (± 9 years) in the femur fracture group and 71.8 years (± 9 years) in the control group. Sex, age, ISS, and comorbidities were homogenous between groups.
In-hospital (p = 0.45), 6-month (p = 0.79), and 1-year mortality (p = 0.55) did not differ in patients with and without high-energy femur fractures. Elderly patients with high-energy femur fractures had an increased number of complications (p = 0.029), longer total hospital length of stay (p = 0.039), were discharged more commonly to rehabilitation centers (p < 0.005), had more accompanying long bone fractures (p = 0.002), and were more likely to have surgery (p < 0.001). Average ICU length of stay was similar between the two groups (p = 0.17).
High-energy femur fractures increased morbidity in patients 60 years and older; however, no increase in mortality was observed in our patients. Concomitant injuries may play a more critical role in this population. Additional studies are necessary to clarify the role of high-energy femur fracture mortality in this age group.
Level of Evidence
Level III, therapeutic study. See the Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
PMCID: PMC3916609  PMID: 24166074
4.  Factors influencing Breast Cancer Screening in Low-Income African Americans in Tennessee 
Journal of community health  2014;39(5):943-950.
This study examined demographic and lifestyle factors that influenced decisions and obstacles to being screened for breast cancer in low-income African Americans in three urban Tennessee cities. As part of the Meharry Community Networks Program (CNP) needs assessment, a 123-item community survey was administered to assess demographic characteristics, health care access and utilization, and screening practices for various cancers in low-income African Americans. For this study, only African American women 40 years and older (n=334) were selected from the Meharry CNP community survey database. There were several predictors of breast cancer screening such as marital status and having health insurance (P< .05). Additionally, there were associations between obstacles to screening and geographic region such as transportation and not having enough information about screenings (P< .05). Educational interventions aimed at improving breast cancer knowledge and screening rates should incorporate information about obstacles and predictors to screening.
PMCID: PMC4165808  PMID: 24554393
5.  Religious Fatalism and its association with Health Behaviors and Outcomes 
This study examines religious fatalism as a potential barrier to good health and healthy behavior.
As part of Nashville's REACH 2010 project, residents (n=1,273) were randomly selected to participate in a telephone survey examining health variables. This survey included the Helpless Inevitability sub-scale of the Religious Health Fatalism Questionnaire.
Results indicate significant racial/ethnicity differences, however associations of fatalism with health outcomes and behaviors were only partially confirmed.
Fatalism may be primarily a coping response to illness rather than an inhibitory belief.
PMCID: PMC4144788  PMID: 17691869
Health Disparities; Fatalism; African-American Health; REACH 2010
6.  Plasma Selenium Biomarkers in Low Income Black and White Americans from the Southeastern United States 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e84972.
Biomarkers of selenium are necessary for assessing selenium status in humans, since soil variation hinders estimation of selenium intake from foods. In this study, we measured the concentration of plasma selenium, selenoprotein P (SEPP1), and glutathione peroxidase (GPX3) activity and their interindividual differences in 383 low-income blacks and whites selected from a stratified random sample of adults aged 40–79 years, who were participating in a long-term cohort study in the southeastern United States (US). We assessed the utility of these biomarkers to determine differences in selenium status and their association with demographic, socio-economic, dietary, and other indicators. Dietary selenium intake was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire designed for the cohort, matched with region-specific food selenium content, and compared with the US Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) set at 55 µg/day. We found that SEPP1, a sensitive biomarker of selenium nutritional status, was significantly lower among blacks than whites (mean 4.4±1.1 vs. 4.7±1.0 mg/L, p = 0.006), with blacks less than half as likely to have highest vs. lowest quartile SEPP1 concentration (Odds Ratio (OR) 0.4, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.2–0.8). The trend in a similar direction was observed for plasma selenium among blacks and whites, (mean 115±15.1 vs. 118±17.7 µg/L, p = 0.08), while GPX3 activity did not differ between blacks and whites (136±33.3 vs. 132±33.5 U/L, p = 0.320). Levels of the three biomarkers were not correlated with estimated dietary selenium intake, except for SEPP1 among 10% of participants with the lowest selenium intake (≤57 µg/day). The findings suggest that SEPP1 may be an effective biomarker of selenium status and disease risk in adults and that low selenium status may disproportionately affect black and white cohort participants.
PMCID: PMC3896351  PMID: 24465457
7.  Relationship Between Smoking and Obesity Among Women 
To examine the relationship between smoking and weight status in adult women and whether this association differed by race.
The study sample consisted of 22,949 African American and 7831 white women enrolled in the Southern Community Cohort Study from 2002 to 2006.
Both African American and white current smokers had decreased odds of being overweight or obese compared to normal-weight nonsmokers, and the inverse trends between current smoking and BMI held for both groups.
A strong relationship exists between smoking and weight status, with patterns nearly identical for African Americans and white women.
PMCID: PMC3717966  PMID: 22040623
BMI; smoking; race
8.  De Quervain's Disease 
Eplasty  2013;13:ic52.
PMCID: PMC3723064  PMID: 23943679
De Quervain Disease; Stenosing Tenosynovitis; Tendon Entrapment; Tendinopathy
9.  Syndactyly Repair 
Eplasty  2013;13:ic51.
PMCID: PMC3713739  PMID: 23882304
10.  Operationalization of community-based participatory research principles across the National Cancer Institute’s Community Network Programs 
American Journal of Public Health  2011;102(6):1195-1203.
To examine how the National Cancer Institute-funded Community Network Program (CNP) operationalized principles of community-based participatory research (CBPR).
Based on our review of the literature and extant CBPR measurement tools, scientists from nine of 25 CNPs developed a 27-item questionnaire to self-assess CNP operationalization of nine CBPR principles.
Of 25 CNPs, 22 (88%) completed the questionnaire. Most scored well on CBPR principles to recognize community as a unit of identity, build on community strengths, facilitate co-learning, embrace iterative processes in developing community capacity, and achieve a balance between data generation and intervention. CNPs varied in extent to which they employed CBPR principles of addressing determinants of health, sharing power among partners, engaging community in research dissemination, and striving for sustainability.
Although tool development in this field is in its infancy, findings suggest that fidelity to CBPR processes can be assessed in a variety of settings.
PMCID: PMC3292685  PMID: 22095340
Cancer disparities; community health; empowerment; health status disparities; indigenous populations; minority health; partnerships; training
11.  Operative Treatment of HIP Fractures in Patients on Clopidogrel: A Case-Control Study 
Clopidogrel, an inhibitor of ADP-induced platelet aggregation, is indicated for the reduction of atherosclerotic events in patients with atherosclerosis documented by recent stoke, myocardial infarction, acute coronary syndrome, and established peripheral arterial disease. In cardiovascular studies, clopidogrel has been associated with increased chest tube output, transfusion rates, and re-exploration rates. Few studies have addressed the possible complications of clopidogrel in hip fractures. Our study aims to assess the perioperative blood loss and transfusion rates in geriatric patients with hip fractures on clopidogrel. We hypothesize that patients on clopidogrel will have higher perioperative blood loss and transfusion rates.
Materials and Methods
A retrospective, case control study chart review over a five year span was conducted. Of the 2,766 geriatric hip fracture patients surgically treated, 52 patients taking clopidogrel upon admission to the hospital were compared to patients not on the drug. All of the patients in the study were taken to the operating room within two calendar days of admission. statistical analysis was performed using Wilcoxon's, Fisher exact, chi square, and logistic regression methods.
A total of 110 patients were included in the analysis, 52 (47%) were taking clopidogrel at the time of admission. these patients were compared to 58 (53%) patients not on the drug. No significant difference was found with respect to documented perioperative blood loss. Transfusion rates however, did vary. Patients who had been taking clopidogrel, prior to admission and subsequent surgery, had a transfusion rate of 56% while those patients not on the drug had a transfusion rate of 31%. Logistic regression analysis showed taking clopidogrel up to admission was significantly associated (p = .0121) with receiving a blood transfusion following surgical treatment of a hip fracture.
A growing body of evidence supports early (within 48 hrs) surgery for elderly patients with hip fractures. the pharmacokinetics of clopidogrel do not allow for bleeding time to return to normal until the drug has been discontinued for five days. Our study shows that patients taking clopidogrel upon admission for hip fracture are at increased risk of blood transfusions when surgery is performed within two calendar days of admis-sion. this risk must be balanced by the potential benefits of early surgery.
PMCID: PMC3565422  PMID: 23576928
12.  Diabetes and Co-morbid Depression among Racially Diverse, Low-income Adults 
Research suggests individuals with diabetes are twice as likely as those without diabetes to be clinically depressed. Still unknown is the relationship between diabetes and depression in socioeconomically disadvantaged populations.
We examined the relationship between diabetes and depressive symptoms in a large, racially diverse, low-income cohort in the southeastern United States.
69,068 adults were recruited from community health centers in the twelve southeastern states in the U.S. A fully adjusted polytomous logistic regression model tested the relationship between demographics, lifestyle behaviors, antidepressant use, body mass index, diabetes diagnosis, diabetes duration, diabetes medication compliance, and depressive symptoms using the Centers for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale.
Diabetes was present in 21.7% of sample. While a diabetes diagnosis was associated with having severe depressive symptoms (AOR: 1.24, 95% CI: 1.14-1.34), demographics, lifestyle behaviors, antidepressant use, body mass index were more strongly associated with severe depressive symptoms than a diabetes diagnosis.
Having diabetes was associated with the presence and severity of depressive symptoms in a large, low-income sample of racially diverse adults. However, the relationship between diabetes and depressive symptoms was weaker than other studies with higher socioeconomic groups.
PMCID: PMC3098929  PMID: 21104461
depression; diabetes; disparities; income; education
13.  Racial Disparities in the Treatment of Depression in Low-Income Persons With Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2010;33(5):1050-1054.
Individuals with diabetes are at higher risk for depression than the general population. Although depression can be treated with antidepressant medications, patients with diabetes and comorbid depression often go untreated. The goal of this study was to examine racial disparities in the treatment of depression with antidepressant medication in the southeastern U.S.
Cross-sectional data were collected at baseline from 69,068 participants (71% African American, 60% female, and 82% with incomes <$25,000) recruited from community health centers and enrolled in the Southern Cohort Community Study (SCCS). The SCCS is a prospective epidemiological cohort study designed to explore causes of health disparities in adults aged 40–79 years. Binary logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with antidepressant use among those with diabetes (n = 14,279).
Individuals with diagnosed diabetes (14,279) were classified with no depressive symptoms (54.7%), or with mild (24.2%), moderate (12.8%), or severe depressive symptoms (8.3%). After controlling for sex, age, insurance, income, education, BMI, smoking status, alcohol consumption, and level of depression, African Americans with diabetes were much less likely to report taking antidepressant medication than whites (adjusted odds ratio 0.32 [95% CI 0.29–0.35], P < 0.0001).
Antidepressant use is much less common among African Americans than among whites with diabetes. Reasons for racial disparities in treatment of depressive symptoms are unclear but may include a combination of differential diagnosis and treatment by health professionals as well as cultural differences in seeking help for emotional distress.
PMCID: PMC2858173  PMID: 20185741
14.  Chronic illness and smoking cessation 
Nicotine & Tobacco Research  2009;11(8):933-939.
Smoking is among the leading causes of premature mortality and preventable death in the United States. Although smoking contributes to the probability of developing chronic illness, little is known about the relationship between quitting smoking and the presence of chronic illness. The present study investigated the association between diagnoses of one or more chronic diseases (diabetes, hypertension, or high cholesterol) and smoking status (former or current smoker).
The data analyzed were a subset of questions from a 155-item telephone-administered community survey that assessed smoking status, demographic characteristics, and presence of chronic disease. The study sample consisted of 3,802 randomly selected participants.
Participants with diabetes were more likely to report being former smokers, after adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, whereas having hypertension or high cholesterol was not associated significantly with smoking status. The likelihood of being a former smoker did not increase as number of diagnosed chronic diseases increased. Participants who were women, older (aged 65+), or single were significantly less likely to be former smokers. Participants with at least a college degree, those with incomes of US$50,000+, and those who were underweight or obese were more likely to be former smokers.
These findings were inconsistent with research that has suggested that having a chronic illness or experiencing a serious medical event increases the odds of smoking cessation. Supporting prior research, we found that being male, having a higher income, and being obese were associated with greater likelihood of being a former smoker.
PMCID: PMC2734285  PMID: 19516050
15.  Validity of the SF-12 for Use in a Low-Income African American Community-Based Research Initiative (REACH 2010) 
Preventing Chronic Disease  2008;5(2):A44.
The objective of our study was to assess the psychometric properties of the Medical Outcomes Study's 12-Item Short Form Survey Instrument (SF-12) for use in a low-income African American community. The SF-12, a commonly used functional health status assessment, was developed based on responses of an ethnically homogeneous sample of whites. Our assessment addressed the appropriateness of the instrument for establishing baseline indicators for mental and physical health status as part of Nashville, Tennessee's, Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) 2010 initiative, a community-based participatory research study.
A cross-sectional random residential sample of 1721 African Americans responded to a telephone survey that included the SF-12 survey items and other indicators of mental and physical health status. The SF-12 was assessed by examining item-level characteristics, estimates of scale reliability (internal consistency), and construct validity.
Construct validity assessed by the method of extreme groups determined that SF-12 summary scores varied for individuals who differed in self-reported medical conditions. Convergent and discriminate validity assessed by multitrait analysis yielded satisfactory coefficients. Concurrent validity was also shown to be satisfactory, assessed by correlating SF-12 summary scores with independent measures of physical and mental health status.
The SF-12 appears to be a valid measure for assessing health status of low-income African Americans.
PMCID: PMC2396981  PMID: 18341779

Results 1-15 (15)