Senior Associate Dean of Research and Program Development
Interim Chair, Department of Epidemiology
Professor of Public Health, Neurology and Dentistry
- Professional overview
Dr. Bernadette Boden-Albala is an internationally recognized expert in the social epidemiology of stroke and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Boden-Albala utilizes epidemiologic tools and models to describe and link social, demographic, and behavioral risk factors (e.g., culture, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, social support, stress, and multi-level behaviors) to disease outcomes, such as vascular and oral diseases. She specializes in the design of intervention strategies for prevention and preparedness of stroke and vascular risk factor reduction and the interpretation of social determinants in risk reduction strategies.
Through Dr. Boden-Albala’s commitment to community inclusion and collaboration between research and practice, she has produced a wealth of knowledge on community health interventions that support stroke prevention. Dr. Boden-Albala’s unparalleled ability to conduct interventions in minority and underserved populations established interventions to reduce blood pressure in rural communities among Alaska Natives, as well as a collaborative effort between the American Heart Association and the Grenada Ministry of Health. With the support of the World Health Organization, she seeks to identify the optimum social networks promoting health policy dialogue in Moldova. As the Principal Investigator of the National Initiative for Minority Involvement in Neurological Clinical Trials, Dr. Boden-Albala is identifying barriers to inclusion of racial-ethnic minorities and women in neurological clinical trials, establishing best practice guidelines, and building a toolkit of materials to improve participation rates among these populations. As the Principal Investigator of the New York Collaborative Regional Coordinating Center, her research will provide New York communities greater access to stroke research and clinical trials focused on primary and secondary stroke prevention, acute stroke treatment, and stroke recovery.
Over the last 20 years, Dr. Boden-Albala has held leadership roles on national and local committees and task forces to improve vascular health and reduce disease, including the American Heart Association Nutrition and Physical Activity Behavioral Task Force, National American Heart Association Stroke Advisory Council, and the Clinical and Translational Science Award Community Engagement Key Member Leadership. She has also taught and worked at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Columbia University, and NYU College of Dentistry.
As Associate Dean, she has co-created innovative courses with UNICEF and the United Nation's World Food Program to innovate solutions to Ebola and Polio response and explore a system's approach to food access. She has also developed the Cross-Continental MPH, a one-year program that combines classroom learning, collaborative research with faculty mentors, and public health practice experience across three continents.
MPH, Columbia University, New York, NYPhD, Columbia University, New York, NY
- Areas of research and study
EpidemiologyInternational HealthMinority HealthSocial Determinants of HealthStroke and Cardiovascular DiseaseWomen's HealthWorld Health Organization
Age-related differences in antihypertensive medication adherence in hispanics: A cross-sectional community-based survey in New York City, 2011-2012Bandi, P., Goldmann, E., Parikh, N., Farsi, P., & Boden-Albala, B.
Journal titlePreventing Chronic Disease
Introduction US Hispanics, particularly younger adults in this population, have a higher prevalence of uncontrolled hypertension than do people of other racial/ethnic groups. Little is known about the prevalence and predictors of antihypertensive medication adherence, a major determinant of hypertension control and cardiovascular disease, and differences between age groups in this fast-growing population. Methods The cross-sectional study included 1,043 community-dwelling Hispanic adults with hypertension living in 3 northern Manhattan neighborhoods from 2011 through 2012. Age-stratified analyses assessed the prevalence and predictors of high medication adherence (score of 8 on the Morisky Medication Adherence Scale [MMAS-8]) among younger (< 60 y) and older (≥60 y) Hispanic adults. Results Prevalence of high adherence was significantly lower in younger versus older adults (24.5% vs 34.0%, P = .001). In younger adults, heavy alcohol consumption, a longer duration of hypertension, and recent poor physical health were negatively associated with high adherence, but poor self-rated general health was positively associated with high adherence. In older adults, advancing age, higher education level, high knowledge of hypertension control, and private insurance or Medicare versus Medicaid were positively associated with high adherence, whereas recent poor physical health and health-related activity limitations were negatively associated with high adherence. Conclusion Equitable achievement of national hypertension control goals will require attention to suboptimal antihypertensive medication adherence found in this study and other samples of US Hispanics, particularly in younger adults. Age differences in predictors of high adherence highlight the need to tailor efforts to the life stage of people with hypertension.
Ascertainment of Alaska Native Stroke Incidence, 2005-2009: Lessons for Assessing the Global Burden of StrokeBoden-Albala, B., Allen, J., Roberts, E.T., Bulkow, L., & Trimble, B.
Journal titleJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Background Stroke is a critical public health issue in the United States and globally. System models to optimally capture stroke incidence in rural and culturally diverse communities are needed. The epidemiological transition to a western lifestyle has been associated with an increased burden of vascular risk factors among Alaska Native (AN) people. The burden of stroke in AN communities remains understudied. Methods The Alaska Native Stroke Registry (ANSR) was designed to screen and capture all stroke cases between 2005 and 2009 through its integration into the existing single-payer Alaska Tribal Health System infrastructure. Registry staff received notification each time stroke International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes (430-436) were initiated anywhere in the system. Trained chart abstractors reviewed medical records to document incident strokes among AN patients, which were adjudicated. Results Between October 2005 and October 2009, over 2100 alerts were screened identifying 514 unique stroke cases, of which 372 were incident strokes. The average annual incidence of stroke (per 100,000) among AN adults was 190.6: 219.2 in men and 164.7 in women. Overall, the ischemic stroke incidence rate was 148.5 per 100,000 with men (184.6) having higher ischemic rates per 100,000 than women (118.3). Men have higher rates of ischemic stroke at all ages, whereas older women experienced higher rates of hemorrhagic strokes over the age of 75 years. Conclusions We report a high rate of overall stroke, 190.6 per 100,000. The ANSR methods and findings have implications for other indigenous populations and for global health populations currently undergoing similar epidemiological transitions.
Barriers and Strategies for Recruitment of Racial and Ethnic Minorities: Perspectives from Neurological Clinical Research CoordinatorsHaley, S.J., Southwick, L.E., Parikh, N., Rivera, J., Farrar-Edwards, D., & Boden-Albala, B.
Journal titleJournal of racial and ethnic health disparities
Introduction: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are the gold standard within evidence-based research. Low participant accrual rates, especially of underrepresented groups (e.g., racial-ethnic minorities), may jeopardize clinical studies’ viability and strength of findings. Research has begun to unweave clinical trial mechanics, including the roles of clinical research coordinators, to improve trial participation rates. Methods: Two semi-structured focus groups were conducted with a purposive sample of 29 clinical research coordinators (CRCs) at consecutive international stroke conferences in 2013 and 2014 to gain in-depth understanding of coordinator-level barriers to racial-ethnic minority recruitment and retention into neurological trials. Coded transcripts were used to create themes to define concepts, identify associations, summarize findings, and posit explanations. Results: Barriers related to translation, literacy, family composition, and severity of medical diagnosis were identified. Potential strategies included a focus on developing personal relationships with patients, community and patient education, centralized clinical trial administrative systems, and competency focused training and education for CRCs. Conclusion: Patient level barriers to clinical trial recruitment are well documented. Less is known about barriers facing CRCs. Further identification of how and when barriers manifest and the effectiveness of strategies to improve CRCs recruitment efforts is warranted.
Gender, Social Networks, and Stroke Preparedness in the Stroke Warning Information and Faster Treatment StudyMadsen, T.E., Roberts, E.T., Kuczynski, H., Goldmann, E., Parikh, N., & Boden-Albala, B.
Journal titleJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Background and Purpose: The study aimed to investigate the effect of gender on the association between social networks and stroke preparedness as measured by emergency department (ED) arrival within 3 hours of symptom onset. Methods: As part of the Stroke Warning Information and Faster Treatment study, baseline data on demographics, social networks, and time to ED arrival were collected from 1193 prospectively enrolled stroke/transient ischemic attack (TIA) patients at Columbia University Medical Center. Logistic regression was conducted with arrival to the ED ≤3 hours as the outcome, social network characteristics as explanatory variables, and gender as a potential effect modifier. Results: Men who lived alone or were divorced were significantly less likely to arrive ≤3 hours than men who lived with a spouse (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: .31, 95% confidence interval [CI]: .15-0.64) or were married (aOR: .45, 95% CI: .23-0.86). Among women, those who lived alone or were divorced had similar odds of arriving ≤3 hours compared with those who lived with a spouse (aOR: 1.25, 95% CI: .63-2.49) or were married (aOR: .73, 95% CI: .4-1.35). Conclusions: In patients with stroke/TIA, living with someone or being married improved time to arrival in men only. Behavioral interventions to improve stroke preparedness should incorporate gender differences in how social networks affect arrival times.
The Association between Diffusion MRI-Defined Infarct Volume and NIHSS Score in Patients with Minor Acute StrokeYaghi, S., Herber, C., Boehme, A.K., Andrews, H., Willey, J.Z., Rostanski, S.K., … Boden-Albala, B.
Journal titleJournal of Neuroimaging
BACKGROUND: Prior studies have shown a correlation between the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and stroke volume on diffusion weighted imaging (DWI); data are more limited in patients with minor stroke. We sought to determine the association between DWI lesion(s) volume and the (1) total NIHSS score and (2) NIHSS component scores in patients with minor stroke. METHODS: We included all patients with minor stroke (NIHSS 0-5) enrolled in the Stroke Warning Information and Faster Treatment study. We calculated lesion(s) volume (cm3) on the DWI sequence using Medical Image Processing, Analysis, and Visualization (MIPAV, NIH, Version 7.1.1). We used nonparametric tests to study the association between the primary outcome, DWI lesion(s) volume, and the predictors (NIHSS score and its components). RESULTS: We identified 894 patients with a discharge diagnosis of minor stroke; 709 underwent magnetic resonance imaging and 510 were DWI positive. There was a graded relationship between the NIHSS score and median DWI lesion volume in cm3: (NIHSS 0: 7.1, NIHSS 1: 8.0, NIHSS 2: 17.1, NIHSS 3: 11.6, NIHSS 4: 19.0, and NIHSS 5: 23.6, P < .01). The median lesion volume was significantly higher in patients with neglect (105.6 vs. 12.5, P = .025), language disorder (34.6 vs. 11.9, P < .001), and visual field impairment (185.6 vs. 11.6, P < .001). Other components of the NIHSS were not associated with lesion volume. CONCLUSION: In patients with minor stroke, the nature of deficit when used with the NIHSS score can improve prediction of infarct volume. This may have clinical and therapeutic implications.
Chronic Physical Illness Burden and Suicidal Ideation Among Dominicans in New York CityGoldmann, E., Roberts, E.T., Parikh, N., & Boden-Albala, B.
Journal titleJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Little is known about the association between chronic illness and suicidal ideation (SI) among Dominicans living in the United States. This study used data from a community survey of 2753 Dominican adults in New York City. SI included thoughts of self-harm or being better off dead in the past month. Chronic physical illness burden was categorized as having 0, 1, or 2+ diagnosed conditions. Adjusted logistic regressions evaluated the association between number of conditions and SI, overall and stratified by sex and age. Adjusted models yielded a strong association between chronic illness burden and SI among men [odds ratio (OR) 5.57, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 2.19–14.18] but not women (OR 0.80, 95 % CI 0.50–1.29; interaction p = 0.011). The association of interest did not differ significantly between younger and older adults. Screening for SI in health care practice, particularly among Dominican men with multiple chronic health conditions, may be warranted.
Majority of 30-day readmissions after intracerebral hemorrhage are related to infectionsLord, A.S., Lewis, A., Czeisler, B., Ishida, K., Torres, J., Kamel, H., … Boden-Albala, B.
Background and Purpose - Infections are common after intracerebral hemorrhage, but little is known about the risk of serious infection requiring readmission after hospital discharge. Methods - To determine if infections are prevalent in patients readmitted within 30 days of discharge, we performed a retrospective cohort study of patients discharged from nonfederal acute care hospitals in California with a primary diagnosis of intracerebral hemorrhage between 2006 and 2010. We excluded patients who died during the index admission, were discharged against medical advice, or were not California residents. Our main outcome was 30-day unplanned readmission with primary infection-related International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification code. Results - There were 24 540 index intracerebral hemorrhage visits from 2006 to 2010. Unplanned readmissions occurred in 14.5% (n=3550) of index patients. Of 3550 readmissions, 777 (22%) had an infection-related primary diagnosis code. When evaluating primary and all secondary diagnosis codes, infection was associated with 1826 (51%) of readmissions. Other common diagnoses associated with readmission included stroke-related codes (n=840, 23.7%) and aspiration pneumonitis (n=154, 4.3%). The most common infection-related primary diagnosis codes were septicemia (n=420, 11.8%), pneumonia (n=124, 3.5%), urinary tract infection (n=141, 4.0%), and gastrointestinal infection (n=42, 1.2%). Patients with a primary infection-related International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification code on readmission had higher in-hospital mortality compared with other types of readmission (15.6% versus 8.0%, P
Race/ethnic differences in post-stroke depr ession (PSD): Findings from the stroke warning information and faster treatment (SWIFT ) studyGoldmann, E., Roberts, E.T., Parikh, N., Lord, A.S., & Boden-Albala, B.
Journal titleEthnicity and Disease
Objectives: Post-stroke depression (PSD) is common and associated with poor stroke outcomes, but few studies have examined race/ethnic disparities in PSD. Given the paucity of work and inconsistent findings in this important area of research, our study aimed to examine race/ethnic differences in depression in a multi-ethnic cohort of stroke patients. Design: Longitudinal. Setting: Prospective trial of a post-stroke educational intervention. Patients or Participants: 1,193 mild/moderate ischemic stroke/transient ischemic attack (TIA) patients. Main Outcome Measures: We used the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale to assess subthreshold (CES-D score 8-15) and full (CES-D score ≥ 16) depression at one month ("early") and 12 months ("late") following stroke. Multinomial logistic regression analyses examined the association between race/ethnicity and early and late PSD separately. Results: The prevalence of subthreshold and full PSD was 22.5% and 32.6% in the early period and 22.0% and 27.4% in the late period, respectively. Hispanics had 60% lower odds of early full PSD compared with non-Hispanic Whites after adjusting for other covariates (OR=.4, 95% CI: .2, .8). Race/ ethnicity was not significantly associated with late PSD. Conclusions: Hispanic stroke patients had half the odds of PSD in early period compared with Whites, but no difference was found in the later period. Further studies comparing trajectories of PSD between race/ ethnic groups may further our understanding of race/ethnic disparities in PSD and help identify effective interventions.
Sleep disturbances and cognitive decline in the Northern Manhattan StudyRamos, A.R., Gardener, H., Rundek, T., Elkind, M.S.V., Boden-Albala, B., Dong, C., … Wright, C.B.
Objective: To examine frequent snoring, sleepiness, and sleep duration with baseline and longitudinal performance on neuropsychological (NP) battery. Methods: The analysis consists of 711 participants of the Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS) with sleep data and NP assessment (age 63 ± 8 years, 62% women, 18% white, 17% black, 67% Hispanic) and 687 with repeat NP testing (at a mean of 6 ± 2 years). The main exposures were snoring, sleepiness, and sleep duration obtained during annual follow-up. Using factor analysis-derived domain-specific Z scores for episodic memory, language, executive function, and processing speed, we constructed multivariable regression models to evaluate sleep symptoms with baseline NP performance and change in performance in each NP domain. Results: In the cross-sectional analysis, adjusting for demographics and the NOMAS vascular risk score, participants with frequent snoring had worse executive function (β -12; p 0.04) and processing speed (β -13; p 0.02), but no difference in with episodic memory or language. Those with severe daytime sleepiness (β -26; p 0.009) had worse executive function, but no changes in the other NP domains. There was no cross-sectional association between sleep duration and NP performance. Frequent snoring (β -29; p 0.0007), severe daytime sleepiness (β -29; p 0.05), and long sleep duration (β -29; p 0.04) predicted decline in executive function, adjusting for demographic characteristics and NOMAS vascular risk score. Sleep symptoms did not explain change in episodic memory, language, or processing speed. Conclusions: In this race-ethnically diverse community-based cohort, sleep symptoms led to worse cognitive performance and predicted decline in executive function.
Comparison of Acute Stroke Preparedness Strategies to Decrease Emergency Department Arrival Time in a Multiethnic Cohort: The Stroke Warning Information and Faster Treatment StudyBoden-Albala, B., Stillman, J., Roberts, E.T., Quarles, L.W., Glymour, M.M., Chong, J., … Parides, M.C.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Less than 25% of stroke patients arrive to an emergency department within the 3-hour treatment window. Stroke Warning Information and Faster Treatment (SWIFT) compared an interactive intervention (II) with enhanced educational (EE) materials on recurrent stroke arrival times in a prospective cohort of multiethnic stroke/transient ischemic attack survivors.
METHODS: A single-center randomized controlled trial (2005-2011) randomized participants to EE (bilingual stroke preparedness materials) or II (EE plus in-hospital sessions). We assessed differences by randomization in the proportion arriving to emergency department <3 hours, prepost intervention arrival <3 hours, incidence rate ratio for total events, and stroke knowledge and preparedness capacity.
RESULTS: SWIFT randomized 1193 participants (592 EE, 601 II): mean age 63 years; 50% female, 17% black, 51% Hispanic, 26% white. At baseline, 28% arrived to emergency department <3 hours. Over 5 years, first recurrent stroke (n=133), transient ischemic attacks (n=54), or stroke mimics (n=37) were documented in 224 participants. Incidence rate ratio=1.31 (95% confidence interval=1.05-1.63; II to EE). Among II, 40% arrived <3 hours versus 46% EE (P=0.33). In prepost analysis, there was a 49% increase in the proportion arriving <3 hours (P=0.001), greatest among Hispanics (63%, P<0.003). II had greater stroke knowledge at 1 month (odds ratio=1.63; 1.23-2.15). II had higher preparedness capacity at 1 month (odds ratio=3.36; 1.86, 6.10) and 12 months (odds ratio=7.64; 2.49, 23.49).
CONCLUSIONS: There was no difference in arrival <3 hours overall between II and EE; the proportion arriving <3 hours increased in both groups and in race-ethnic minorities.
CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00415389.
Dietary Interventions to Lower the Risk of StrokeBoden-Albala, B., Southwick, L., & Carman, H.
Journal titleCurrent Neurology and Neuroscience Reports
Stroke is a major cause of death and permanent disability in the USA; primary prevention and risk reduction are a critical health concern. A wealth of research investigated stroke risk factors, including primary hypertension, diabetes, and atrial fibrillation. Research has expanded to examine lifestyle factors, such as diet/dietary patterns, physical activity, cigarette smoking, and obesity distribution, as critical modifiable risk factors. Emerging evidence suggests diet/dietary patterns may lead to heightened risk of stroke. Despite a growing literature, research has yet to implement dietary interventions to explore this relationship within a US sample. This review discusses available clinical research findings reporting on the relationship among diet/dietary patterns, cardiovascular disease, and risk of stroke. We will assess challenges, limitations, and controversies, and address future research directions.
Discharge educational strategies for reduction of vascular events (DESERVE): Design and methodsLord, A.S., Carman, H.M., Roberts, E.T., Torrico, V., Goldmann, E., Ishida, K., … Boden-Albala, B.
Journal titleInternational Journal of Stroke
Rationale: Stroke and vascular risk factors disproportionately affect minority populations, with Blacks and Hispanics experiencing a 2·5- and 2·0-fold greater risk compared with whites, respectively. Patients with transient ischemic attacks and mild, nondisabling strokes tend to have short hospital stays, rapid discharges, and inaccurate perceptions of vascular risk. Aim: The primary aim of the Discharge Educational Strategies for Reduction of Vascular Events (DESERVE) trial is to evaluate the efficacy of a novel community health worker-based multilevel discharge intervention vs. standard discharge care on vascular risk reduction among racially/ethnically diverse transient ischemic attack/mild stroke patients at one-year postdischarge. We hypothesize that those randomized to the discharge intervention will have reduced modifiable vascular risk factors as determined by systolic blood pressure compared with those receiving usual care. Sample size estimates: Given 300 subjects per group and alpha of 0·05, the power to detect a 6mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure is 89%. Design: DESERVE trial is a prospective, randomized, multicenter clinical trial of a novel discharge behavioral intervention. Patients with transient ischemic attack/mild stroke are randomized during hospitalization or emergency room visit to intervention or usual care. Intervention begins prior to discharge and continues postdischarge. Study outcomes: The primary outcome is difference in systolic blood pressure reduction between groups at 12 months. Secondary outcomes include between-group differences in change in glycated hemoglobin, smoking rates, medication adherence, and recurrent stroke/transient ischemic attack at 12 months. Discussion: DESERVE will evaluate whether a novel discharge education strategy leads to improved risk factor control in a racially diverse population.
Examining Barriers and Practices to Recruitment and Retention in Stroke Clinical TrialsBoden-Albala, B., Carman, H., Southwick, L., Parikh, N., Roberts, E., Waddy, S., & Edwards, D.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The National Institutes of Health policy calls for the inclusion of under-represented groups, such as women and minorities, in clinical research. Poor minority recruitment and retention in stroke clinical trials remain a significant challenge limiting safety and efficacy in a general population. Previous research examines participant barriers to clinical trial involvement, but little is known about the investigator perspective. This study addresses this gap and examines researcher-reported barriers and best practices of minority involvement in stroke clinical trials.
METHODS: Quantitative and qualitative methods, including surveys, focus groups, and key informant interviews were used.
RESULTS: In a survey of 93 prominent stroke researchers, 43 (51.2%; 70% response rate) respondents reported proactively setting recruitment goals for minority inclusion, 29 respondents (36.3%) reported requiring cultural competency staff training, and 44 respondents (51.2%) reported using community consultation about trial design. Focus groups and key informant interviews highlighted structural and institutional challenges to recruitment of minorities, including mistrust of the research/medical enterprise, poor communication, and lack of understanding of clinical trials. Researcher-identified best practices included using standardized project management procedures and protocols (eg, realistic budgeting to support challenges in recruitment, such as travel/parking reimbursement for participants), research staff cultural competency and communication training, and developing and fostering community partnerships that guide the research process.
CONCLUSIONS: This study's formative evaluation contributes a new dimension to the literature as it highlights researcher-reported barriers and best practices for enhancing participation of minority populations into stroke clinical trials.
Itemized NIHSS subsets predict positive MRI strokes in patients with mild deficitsYaghi, S., Herber, C., Willey, J.Z., Andrews, H.F., Boehme, A.K., Marshall, R.S., … Boden-Albala, B.
Journal titleJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Background: While imaging is useful in confirming the diagnosis of ischemic stroke, negative diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) is reported in up to 25% of patients. Our aim was to identify predictors of MRI-positive stroke from the itemized NIHSS. Methods: Data were derived from the Stroke Warning Information and Faster Treatment study from February 2006 to February 2010 among patients with mild deficits (NIHSS 0-5) and a final diagnosis of stroke by a vascular neurologist. All MRI sequences were reviewed for the presence or absence of an acute infarct on DWI. Multivariate logistic regression assessed factors predicting DWI-positive strokes; p. <. 0.05 was considered significant. Results: 894 patients had a discharge diagnosis of stroke; 709 underwent MRI and 28.0% were DWI negative. All patients with visual field deficits or neglect were DWI positive. On multivariate analysis including total NIHSS (0-2 vs. 3-5) and itemized NIHSS score subsets, predictors of a positive DWI were NIHSS score of 3-5 (OR=3.3, 95% CI: 1.8-6.1), motor deficits (OR=1.7, 95% CI: 1.1-2.8), ataxia (OR=1.9, 95% CI: 1.0-3.5), and absence of sensory deficits (OR=1.7, 95% CI: 1.0-2.7). We developed the NIHSS-m score that predicts DWI positivity in patients with mild deficits in the absence of neglect or visual field deficits. Conclusion: NIHSS score subsets predict DWI positivity in mild strokes. The presence of neglect or visual field deficits on the NIHSS subsets is most likely to have an MRI correlate even in patients with low NIHSS.
Prevalence of Hypertension and Associated Risk Factors in Western Alaska Native People: The Western Alaska Tribal Collaborative for Health (WATCH) StudyJolly, S.E., Koller, K.R., Metzger, J.S., Day, G.M., Silverman, A., Hopkins, S.E., … Umans, J.G.
Journal titleJournal of Clinical Hypertension
Hypertension is a common chronic disease and a key risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease. The Western Alaska Tribal Collaborative for Health study consolidates baseline data from four major cohorts residing in the Norton Sound and Yukon-Kuskokwim regions of western Alaska. This consolidated cohort affords an opportunity for a systematic analysis of high blood pressure and its correlates in a unique population with high stroke rates over a wide age range. While the prevalence of hypertension among western Alaska Native people (30%, age-standardized) is slightly less than that of the US general population (33%), cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of mortality in this rural population. The authors found that improvement is needed in hypertension awareness as about two thirds (64%) of patients reported awareness and only 39% with hypertension were controlled on medication. Future analyses assessing risk and protective factors for incident hypertension in this population are indicated.
The association between online health information-seeking behaviors and health behaviors among hispanics in New York city: A community-based cross-sectional studyLee, Y.J., Boden-Albala, B., Jia, H., Wilcox, A., & Bakken, S.
Journal titleJournal of Medical Internet Research
Background: Hispanics are the fastest-growing minority group in the United States and they suffer from a disproportionate burden of chronic diseases. Studies have shown that online health information has the potential to affect health behaviors and influence management of chronic disease for a significant proportion of the population, but little research has focused on Hispanics. Objective: The specific aim of this descriptive, cross-sectional study was to examine the association between online health information-seeking behaviors and health behaviors (physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption, alcohol use, and hypertension medication adherence) among Hispanics. Methods: Data were collected from a convenience sample (N=2680) of Hispanics living in northern Manhattan by bilingual community health workers in a face-to-face interview and analyzed using linear and ordinal logistic regression. Variable selection and statistical analyses were guided by the Integrative Model of eHealth Use. Results: Only 7.38% (198/2680) of the sample reported online health information-seeking behaviors. Levels of moderate physical activity and fruit, vegetable, and alcohol consumption were low. Among individuals taking hypertension medication (n=825), adherence was reported as high by approximately one-third (30.9%, 255/825) of the sample. Controlling for demographic, situational, and literacy variables, online health information-seeking behaviors were significantly associated with fruit (β=0.35, 95% CI 0.08-0.62, P=.01) and vegetable (β=0.36, 95% CI 0.06-0.65, P=.02) consumption and physical activity (β=3.73, 95% CI 1.99-5.46, P
Guidelines for the primary prevention of stroke: A statement for healthcare professionals from the American heart association/American stroke associationMeschia, J.F., Bushnell, C., Boden-Albala, B., Braun, L.T., Bravata, D.M., Chaturvedi, S., … Wilson, J.A.
The aim of this updated statement is to provide comprehensive and timely evidence-based recommendations on the prevention of stroke among individuals who have not previously experienced a stroke or transient ischemic attack. Evidencebased recommendations are included for the control of risk factors, interventional approaches to atherosclerotic disease of the cervicocephalic circulation, and antithrombotic treatments for preventing thrombotic and thromboembolic stroke. Further recommendations are provided for genetic and pharmacogenetic testing and for the prevention of stroke in a variety of other specific circumstances, including sickle cell disease and patent foramen ovale.
Methodology for a community-based stroke preparedness intervention: The acute stroke program of interventions addressing racial and ethnic disparities studyBoden-Albala, B., Edwards, D.F., Clair, S.S., Wing, J.J., Fernandez, S., Gibbons, M.C., … Kidwell, C.S.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE - : Acute stroke education has focused on stroke symptom recognition. Lack of education about stroke preparedness and appropriate actions may prevent people from seeking immediate care. Few interventions have rigorously evaluated preparedness strategies in multiethnic community settings. METHODS - : The Acute Stroke Program of Interventions Addressing Racial and Ethnic Disparities (ASPIRE) project is a multilevel program using a community-engaged approach to stroke preparedness targeted to underserved black communities in the District of Columbia. This intervention aimed to decrease acute stroke presentation times and increase intravenous tissue-type plasminogen activator utilization for acute ischemic stroke. RESULTS - : Phase 1 included (1) enhancement of focus of emergency medical services on acute stroke; (2) hospital collaborations to implement and enrich acute stroke protocols and transition District of Columbia hospitals toward primary stroke center certification; and (3) preintervention acute stroke patient data collection in all 7 acute care District of Columbia hospitals. A community advisory committee, focus groups, and surveys identified perceptions of barriers to emergency stroke care. Phase 2 included a pilot intervention and subsequent citywide intervention rollout. A total of 531 community interventions were conducted, reaching >10 256 participants; 3289 intervention evaluations were performed, and 19 000 preparedness bracelets and 14 000 stroke warning magnets were distributed. Phase 3 included an evaluation of emergency medical services and hospital processes for acute stroke care and a year-long postintervention acute stroke data collection period to assess changes in intravenous tissue-type plasminogen utilization. CONCLUSIONS - : We report the methods, feasibility, and preintervention data collection efforts of the ASPIRE intervention.
Moving Towards a More Comprehensive Investigation of Racial/Ethnic Differences in Cognitive Disability Among US AdultsBenn, E.K.T., Fox, A., Fei, K., Roberts, E., & Boden-Albala, B.
Journal titleJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
We examined racial/ethnic differences in cognitive disability and the contribution of sociodemographic factors to these differences. Using logistic regression, we measured the association between race/ethnicity and cognitive disability after adjustment for sociodemographic covariates, including agegroup, sex, education, nativity, region, marital status, and occupation among 2009 American Community Survey respondents (≥25 years). Effect modification was also explored. Cognitive disability was self-reported by 6 % of respondents. The proportion with cognitive disability was highest for Blacks and Native American/Pacific Islanders. Statistically significant effect modification was observed for all sociodemographic covariates, except sex. Although most sociodemographic modifiers revealed a more convoluted relationship between race/ethnicity and cognitive disability, the cognitive benefits of higher education, foreign born nativity, and top-tier occupations were observed among most racial/ethnic groups. The observed interplay between sociodemographics and race/ethnicity highlight a complex relationship between race/ethnicity and cognitive disability. Future research should examine mechanisms for this induced complexity.
Multiple metabolic risk factors and mammographic breast densityTehranifar, P., Reynolds, D., Fan, X., Boden-Albala, B., Engmann, N.J., Flom, J.D., & Terry, M.B.
Journal titleAnnals of Epidemiology
Purpose: We examined whether obesity and a history of diabetes, hypertension, and elevated cholesterol, individually and in combination, are associated with breast density, a strong risk factor for breast cancer. Methods: We measured percent density and dense area using a computer-assisted method (n = 191; age range = 40-61 years). We used linear regression models to examine the associations of each metabolic condition and the number of metabolic conditions (zero, one, two, and three or four conditions) with breast density. Results: Among individual metabolic conditions, only high blood cholesterol was inversely associated with percent density (β = -5.4, 95% confidence interval [CI]: -8.5, -2.2) and dense area (β = -6.7, 95% CI = -11.1, -2.4). Having multiple metabolic conditions was also associated with lower breast density, with two conditions and three or four conditions versus zero conditions associated with 6.4% (95% CI: -11.2, -1.6) and 7.4% (95% CI: -12.9, -1.9) reduction in percent density and with 6.5 cm2 (95% CI: -13.1, -0.1) and 9.5 cm2 (95% CI: -17.1, -1.9) decrease in dense area. Conclusions: A history of high blood cholesterol and multiple metabolic conditions were associated with lower relative and absolute measures of breast density. The positive association between metabolic abnormalities and breast cancer risk may be driven by pathways unrelated to mammographic breast density.
Online health information seeking behaviors of hispanics in new york city: A community-based cross-sectional studyLee, Y.J., Boden-Albala, B., Larson, E., Wilcox, A., & Bakken, S.
Journal titleJournal of Medical Internet Research
The emergence of the Internet has increased access to health information and can facilitate active individual engagement in health care decision making. Hispanics are the fastest-growing minority group in the United States and are also the most underserved in terms of access to online health information. A growing body of literature has examined correlates of online health information seeking behaviors (HISBs), but few studies have included Hispanics. Objective: The specific aim of this descriptive, correlational study was to examine factors associated with HISBs of Hispanics. Methods: The study sample (N=4070) was recruited from five postal zip codes in northern Manhattan for the Washington Heights Inwood Informatics Infrastructure for Comparative Effectiveness Research project. Survey data were collected via interview by bilingual community health workers in a community center, households, and other community settings. Data were analyzed using bivariate analyses and logistic regression. Results: Among individual respondents, online HISBs were significantly associated with higher education (OR 3.03, 95% CI 2.15-4.29, P<.001), worse health status (OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.31-0.57, P<.001), and having no hypertension (OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.43-0.84, P=.003). Online HISBs of other household members were significantly associated with respondent factors: female gender (OR 1.60, 95% CI 1.22-2.10, P=.001), being younger (OR 0.75, 95% CI 0.62-0.90, P=.002), being married (OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.09-1.71, P=.007), having higher education (OR 1.80, 95% CI 1.404-2.316, P<.001), being in worse health (OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.46-0.77, P<.001), and having serious health problems increased the odds of their household members' online HISBs (OR 1.83, 95% CI 1.29-2.60, P=.001). Conclusions: This large-scale community survey identified factors associated with online HISBs among Hispanics that merit closer examination. To enhance online HISBs among Hispanics, health care providers and policy makers need to understand the cultural context of the Hispanic population. Results of this study can provide a foundation for the development of informatics-based interventions to improve the health of Hispanics in the United States.
Sleep duration is associated with white matter hyperintensity volume in older adults: The Northern Manhattan StudyRamos, A.R., Dong, C., Rundek, T., Elkind, M.S.V., Boden-Albala, B., Sacco, R.L., & Wright, C.B.
Journal titleJournal of Sleep Research
Self-reports of long or short sleep durations have indicated an association with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, but there are limited data evaluating their association with white matter hyperintensity volume (WMHV), a marker of cerebral small vessel disease. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of self-reported sleep duration to test for a correlation with white matter hyperintensities, measured by quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), in the Northern Manhattan Study. We used multivariable linear regression models to assess associations between both short (<6 h) and long (≥9 h) sleep durations and log-transformed WMHV, adjusting for demographic, behavioural and vascular risk factors. A total of 1244 participants, mean age 70 ± 9 years, 61% women and 68% Hispanics were analysed with magnetic resonance brain imaging and self-reported sleep duration. Short sleep was reported by 23% (n = 293) and long sleep by 10% (n = 121) of the sample. Long sleep (β = 0.178; P = 0.035), but not short sleep (β = -0.053; P = 0.357), was associated with greater log-WMHV in fully adjusted models. We observed an interaction between sleep duration, diabetes mellitus and log-WMHV (P = 0.07). In fully adjusted models, stratified analysis showed that long sleep duration was associated with greater WMHV only in those with diabetes (β = 0.78; P = 0.0314), but not in those without diabetes (β = 0.022; P = 0.2), whereas short sleep was not associated with white matter hyperintensities in those with or without diabetes. In conclusion, long sleep duration was associated with a greater burden of white matter lesions in this stroke-free urban sample. The association was seen mainly among those with diabetes mellitus.
Association between sleep duration and the mini-mental score: The northern manhattan studyRamos, A.R., Dong, C., Elkind, M.S.V., Boden-Albala, B., Sacco, R.L., Rundek, T., & Wright, C.B.
Journal titleJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Background: Short and long sleep duration are associated with increased mortality and worse global cognitive function, but is unclear if these relations persist after accounting for the risk of sleep disordered breathing (SDB). The aim of our study is determine the association between short and long sleep duration with worse global cognitive function in a racially/ethnically diverse elderly cohort. Methods: We examined sleep hours and global cognitive function cross-sectionally within the population-based Northern Manhattan Study cohort. We conducted nonparametric and logistic regression to examine associations between continuous, short (< 6 h) and long (≥ 9 h) sleep hours with performance on the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). Results: There were 927 stroke-free participants with data on self-reported sleep hours and MMSE scores (mean age 75 ± 9 years, 61% women, 68% Hispanics). The median (interquartile range) MMSE was 28 (10-30). Sleep hours (centered at 7 h) was associated with worse MMSE (β = -0.01; SE [0.004], p = 0.0113) adjusting for demographics, vascular risk factors, medications, and risk for SDB. Reporting long sleep (≥ 9 h) compared to 6 to 8 h of sleep (reference) was significantly and inversely associated with MMSE (adjusted β = -0.06; SE [0.03], p = 0.012), while reporting short sleep was not significantly associated with MMSE performance. Long sleep duration was also associated with low MMSE score when dichotomized (adjusted OR: 2.4, 95% CI: 1.1-5.0). Conclusion: In this cross-sectional analysis among an elderly community cohort, long sleep duration was associated with worse MMSE performance.
Education strategies for stroke preventionBoden-Albala, B., & Quarles, L.W.
Predictors of risk and protection for hypertension in Yup'ik people from Southwest Alaska.Boden-Albala, B., Roberts, E.T., Hopkins, S., Allen, J., & Boyer, B.B.
Journal titleEthnicity and Disease
Hypertension (HTN) contributes to vascular disease, and is increasingly common in non-western, rural contexts, such as the Yup'ik people of Southwestern Alaska. While much is known regarding HTN risk factors in western contexts, little is known about their relevance to non-western populations. We explore an American Heart Association risk factor model for HTN in predicting risk and protection from HTN among Yup'ik people. Using data from 1015 Yup'ik individuals residing in remote Southwestern Alaska, we explore age, sex, education, waist circumference, physical activity, tobacco, social support, and cultural identification in multinomial logistic regressions comparing pre-hypertension (pre-HTN; systolic 120 to 129 mm Hg), and hypertension (HTN; systolic > or = 130 mm Hg) to optimal blood pressure (opt-BP; systolic < 120 mm Hg). We find positive associations between age (2%, 5% greater odds respectively), waist circumference (3%, 5% greater odds respectively) and hypertension medication usage (60%, 85% greater odds respectively) with both pre-HTN and HTN. We also find men have 86% greater odds of pre-HTN, people with fasting blood glucose > or = 110 mg/dL have 52% increased odds of pre-HTN, and married persons have 19% lower odds of having pre-HTN compared to having opt-BP. Bicultural identification mitigates age related increases in BP and deleterious effects of low formal education. While model continuities are noted in our Yup'ik study, important points of divergence are also noted. Future research on cultural identification and social support has promising implications for guiding responsive interventions.