African American men diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer have a significantly higher mortality rates than the rest of the population (73.1 deaths per 100,000 persons Vs 59.8 for non-African American). The studies will provide preliminary pre-clinical evidence for the effectiveness of fibrinolytic co-therapy in addressing this health disparity.

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Youth violence among African American young men is an important public health issue facing many urban cities. Police interactions with youth may contribute to high observed rates of violence and related injuries among African American young men. For example, in a nationally representative sample, over half of Black youth aged 18-29 years reported that they or someone they knew experienced harassment or violence at the hands of the police

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This research is relevant to public health because it provides critical knowledge regarding HIV-, Hepatitis C- and colorectal screening barriers and perceptions, needed to inform policy and intervention strategies to improve comprehensive health screening rates among African American men. An increase in comprehensive screening rates among African American men could be instrumental in the early diagnosis and linkage of care of patients unaware of a life-threatening infection or disease.

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African American men are 24% more likely to have cardiovascular disease and 77% more likely to have diabetes, however relatively little is known about biological factors that may be driving these health disparities. DNA methylation is a newly emerging area of study for the regulation of gene expression that may in part explain increased susceptibility of African American men to heart failure.

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Prostate cancer is more aggressive in African American men. Recent studies indicate for a role for epigenetics, the biology of how genes are turned on and off, in prostate carcinogenesis. This project will examine the role of an epigenetic modifier as a means to develop new therapies and biomarkers that can be utilized for patients affected by this malignancy.

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Communities Invested

Our goal is to develop community coalitions to promote the well-being and future success of African American boys and other youth. Coalitions are in two locations–St. Paul, Minnesota and Birmingham, Alabama–and include parents, teachers, students, and community members. They are following the Communities that Care (CTC) model to fulfill their vision for the community. Members will identify community strengths and areas for improvement that will inform the community action plan. They will also collect data to evaluate how youth and families are benefiting from coalition activities.

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Patient Navigation, NAVI-HF

Among African American men with heart failure, one potentially promising area of focus may be the lay delivery of disease-specific self-care education. Patient navigators are uniquely poised to recognize barriers to self-care among African American men with heart failure and to assist them in devising and implementing tailored self-care plans.

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Evaluation of Risk

One potential contribution to the disparity in prostate cancer outcomes in African American men is that many diagnostic tests that guide management decisions have not been validated among African American men.

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HEART Matters

Despite well-known benefits, exercise participation in exercise and dietary interventions remain lower in African American men than European American men. Understanding the barriers and motivational factors which influence lifestyle change among racial and ethnic minority males across the life cycle represents a crucial gap in the field and is one of the primary objectives of this project.

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Hypertension in a Faith Based Setting

This highly innovative project is intended to create a model for an academic-private partnership with the goal of testing scalable solutions to improve the health and wellness of African American men.

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New Model to Reduce Risks

This program of intervention will progressively shape health behaviors of African-American men through peer support, education, modeling, interactive technologies, and monitoring to reduce cardiovascular disease risks as identified in American Heart Association’s scientific statements and national prevention and management guidelines. The long-term goal of this program of research is to reduce cardiovascular disease-related deaths of African-American men within their faith communities.

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Diabetes Medication Management

National USA Foundation is pleased to be partnering with the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy to explore new ways for African American men to manage their diabetes. Together, they will study the impact of a new and innovative support group to better equip men to tackle their diabetes and improve their heart health.

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Improving HCV Outcomes

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Novel Biomarker

Prostate cancer exhibits the most striking racial disparity. African Americans are at 1.4 times higher risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer than Caucasians. There is no race-specific biomarker that would provide information at the time of diagnosis if the tumor is treatable or has tendency to spread to other parts of body (metastasis) and become resistant to therapies. Serum-PSA as a disease type discriminating marker is reported to perform poorly in African-American men.

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