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Your Environment. Your Health.

THE IMPACT OF METALS AND METAL MIXTURES ON CARDIOMETABOLIC DISEASE TRAJECTORIES IN HISPANICS/LATINOS

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Principal Investigator: Schulz, Margaret
Institute Receiving Award University Of Illinois At Chicago
Location Chicago, IL
Grant Number F30ES033510
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 01 May 2022 to 30 Apr 2027
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Project Summary/Abstract Cardiometabolic diseases (CMDs), including diabetes and hypertension, impact two-thirds of people in the United States and are among the leading causes of death worldwide. CMDs lead to devastating consequences for those afflicated by them, such as the increased risk of vascular and heart disease, leading to future lethal complications such as myocardial infarction or stroke. Importantly, these conditions do not impact all individuals equally. CMDs are more prevalent in Hispanics/Latinos, and this population suffers worse complications and outcomes than non-Hispanic whites. While lifestyle factors and genetic predisposition play a role in CMD development, the potential contributions of environmental exposures has not been well-established. Starr County, Texas, is a predominantly Mexican-American community with staggering rages of CMDs, specifically diabetes mellitus. Interestingly, our preliminary data indicate that metal and metalloid exposures may increase the risk for CMDs and CMD-related traits in this population. Therefore, we hypothesize that exposure to metals/metalloids contributes to the observed heightened risk of CMDs in this population. To address this, we will leverage data from a well-established prospective cohort from Starr County, Texas, a community of >90% Hispanic/Latino origin. Utilizing already measured urinary metal/metalloid concentrations, we will evaluate longitudinal cardiovascular and metabolic trajectories of blood pressure, hemoglobin A1c, fasting plasma glucose, and homostatic measures of assessment for individual metal exposures and metal mixtures in 600 individuals over 3 years. Given the substantial individual and societal burden of CMDs, it is vital to identify modifiable risk factors in order to empower action for disease prevention, detection, and treatment. Through the project proposed in this application, valuable insight will be gained into the role of metal/metalloid exposures and CMD risk in a historically underrepresented population in biomedical research. Lastly, through this proposed research project and training plan, the applicant for this fellowship will receive comprehensive and complementary mentorship from a team of experts with a long history of collaboration, numerous opportunities for publication and presentation of scientific progress, and an overall outstanding education empowering her to become an independent principal investigator and physician-scientist devoted to improving environmental health and health justice.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 48 - Diabetes/Metabolic Syndrome
Secondary: 03 - Carcinogenesis/Cell Transformation
Publications No publications associated with this grant
Program Officer Melissa Smarr
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