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Why Women Live Longer
Faculty Associate Philip Cohen points to male smoking habits as an important factor in understanding the relative longevity of women
Located in News
Jogging While Black
Sociologist Rashawn Ray speaks out about the fears that keep many African Americans from exercising
Located in News
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Air Quality Assessment of Volatile Organic Compounds Near a Concrete Block Plant and Traffic in Bladensburg, Maryland
A concrete block plant located in Bladensburg, Maryland, wants to expand to include a concrete batching plant on the same property. This expansion could further degrade air quality and impact the health of vulnerable residents. The purpose of this study is to provide information on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) levels near residential areas close to commuter traffic and industrial activity associated with the concrete plant. Air quality monitoring was conducted in the community at five sites: (1) Kingdom Missionary Baptist Church, (2) Bladensburg Waterfront Park, (3) Confluence area, (4) Bladensburg Elementary School, and (5) Hillcrest Apartment Complex by using the Atmotube, a wearable, real-time sensor that can measure total VOCs. Sampling was conducted in 30-minute periods to capture morning onpeak, afternoon off-peak, and evening on-peak periods. Traffic counts were also conducted at the sites mentioned earlier to evaluate vehicular activity. Average 30-minute values for cars ranged from 8.33 to 1295.33 cars, whereas mean truck values ranged from 0.00 to 137.67 trucks across all sites. The highest average car count of 1295.33 cars was observed at the confluence area. Mean VOCs concentrations ranged from 0.11 to 0.54 ppm across the monitoring locations. The maximum average VOCs level of 0.54 ppm was observed at Kingdom Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday. Also, the mean VOCs levels observed at the church (0.54 and 0.31 ppm) were higher compared with other locations on Saturday. Our results revealed spatial variations of VOCs levels across all locations. There were higher total VOCs levels at the church, which is the closest location to the concrete block plant.
Located in MPRC People / Sacoby Wilson, Ph.D., M.S. / Sacoby Wilson Publications
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Air Quality Assessment of Volatile Organic Compounds Near a Concrete Block Plant and Traffic in Bladensburg, Maryland
A concrete block plant located in Bladensburg, Maryland, wants to expand to include a concrete batching plant on the same property. This expansion could further degrade air quality and impact the health of vulnerable residents. The purpose of this study is to provide information on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) levels near residential areas close to commuter traffic and industrial activity associated with the concrete plant. Air quality monitoring was conducted in the community at five sites: (1) Kingdom Missionary Baptist Church, (2) Bladensburg Waterfront Park, (3) Confluence area, (4) Bladensburg Elementary School, and (5) Hillcrest Apartment Complex by using the Atmotube, a wearable, real-time sensor that can measure total VOCs. Sampling was conducted in 30-minute periods to capture morning onpeak, afternoon off-peak, and evening on-peak periods. Traffic counts were also conducted at the sites mentioned earlier to evaluate vehicular activity. Average 30-minute values for cars ranged from 8.33 to 1295.33 cars, whereas mean truck values ranged from 0.00 to 137.67 trucks across all sites. The highest average car count of 1295.33 cars was observed at the confluence area. Mean VOCs concentrations ranged from 0.11 to 0.54 ppm across the monitoring locations. The maximum average VOCs level of 0.54 ppm was observed at Kingdom Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday. Also, the mean VOCs levels observed at the church (0.54 and 0.31 ppm) were higher compared with other locations on Saturday. Our results revealed spatial variations of VOCs levels across all locations. There were higher total VOCs levels at the church, which is the closest location to the concrete block plant.
Located in MPRC People / Devon Payne-Sturges, Dr.P.H. / Devon Payne-Sturges Publications
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Black–White Disparities in Preterm Birth: Geographic, Social, and Health Determinants
Reducing racial/ethnic disparities in preterm birth is a priority for U.S. public health programs. The study objective was to quantify the relative contribution of geographic, sociodemographic, and health determinants to the black, non-Hispanic and white, non-Hispanic preterm birth disparity. Methods Cross-sectional 2016 U.S. birth certificate data (analyzed in 2018–2019) were used. Black–white differences in covariate distributions and preterm birth and very preterm birth rates were examined. Decomposition methods for nonlinear outcomes based on logistic regression were used to quantify the extent to which black–white differences in covariates contributed to preterm birth and very preterm birth disparities. Results Covariate differences between black and white women were found within each category of geographic, sociodemographic, and health characteristics. However, not all covariates contributed substantially to the disparity. Close to 38% of the preterm birth and 31% of the very preterm birth disparity could be explained by black–white covariate differences. The largest contributors to the disparity included maternal education (preterm birth, 11.3%; very preterm birth, 9.0%), marital status/paternity acknowledgment (preterm birth, 13.8%; very preterm birth, 14.7%), source of payment for delivery (preterm birth, 6.2%; very preterm birth, 3.2%), and hypertension in pregnancy (preterm birth, 9.9%; very preterm birth, 8.3%). Interpregnancy interval contributed a more sizable contribution to the disparity (preterm birth, 6.2%, very preterm birth, 6.0%) in sensitivity analyses restricted to all nonfirstborn births. Conclusions These findings demonstrate that the known portion of the disparity in preterm birth is driven by sociodemographic and preconception/prenatal health factors. Public health programs to enhance social support and preconception care, specifically focused on hypertension, may provide an efficient approach for reducing the racial gap in preterm birth.
Located in MPRC People / Marie Thoma, Ph.D. / Marie Thoma Publications
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Sex-Specific Associations Between Area-Level Poverty and Cardiometabolic Dysfunction Among US Adolescents
Objective: Cardiometabolic disease is the leading cause of mortality in the United States. Cardiometabolic function during adolescence predicts future cardiometabolic disease, yet few studies have examined early determinants of cardiometabolic function. Informed by evidence of sex differences in the prevalence and severity of cardiometabolic disorders and evidence of sexual dimorphism in the stress response, we examined sex differences in the association between living in poverty and cardiometabolic function during adolescence, a precursor of later cardiometabolic disorders. Methods: We linked data from 10 415 adolescents aged 12-19 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999-2012) with US Census–tract data on area-level poverty (percentage of the population living in poverty, grouped into quartiles). We parameterized cardiometabolic dysfunction by summing the z scores of 6 cardiometabolic biomarkers, grouped into quintiles. Hierarchical ordinal models estimated associations. Results: Compared with residents in low-poverty areas, residents in high-poverty areas had elevated odds of cardiometabolic dysfunction (highest quartile of poverty odds ratio [OR] = 1.27; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08-1.50). This association was more pronounced among boys than girls (highest quartile of poverty for boys: OR = 1.36; 95% CI, 1.10-1.70; highest quartile of poverty for girls: OR = 1.17; 95% CI, 0.94-1.47). Conclusion: Our study supports the existence of sex-specific associations. These results highlight the potential for community-based programs, such as housing assistance, to improve population health.
Located in MPRC People / Edmond Shenassa, Ph.D. / Edmond Shenassa Publications
Amir Sapkota, Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health, School of Public Health
Climate Change and Impaired Population Health – Perspectives From Countries on Opposite Ends of the Economic Spectrum
Located in Coming Up
Race, Gender, and Obesity: How the Social Environment Constrains or Enables Physical Activity
Faculty associate Rashawn Ray investigates the social and environmental changes needed in order to remove neighborhood barriers to regular physical exercise
Located in Research / Selected Research
Affordable Care for All?
Faculty associate Jerome Dugan investigates the relationship between socioeconomic status, health insurance coverage, and affordable quality care
Located in Research / Selected Research
Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Correlates of Health Promotion in a Community Sample of African American Churches
Though many African American churches offer health promotion activities to their members, less is known about organizational factors that predict the availability of this programming. This study examines organizational capacity as a predictor of the amount and type of health programming offered by a convenience sample of 119 African American churches. Leaders completed a survey of health promotion activities provided in the previous 12 months and a measure of organizational capacity. Churches offered an average of 6.08 (SD = 2.15) different health programs targeting 4.66 (SD = 3.63) topics. Allocation of space and having a health ministry were positively associated with both the number of health programs and health topics addressed. When seeking to initiate health programming in an African American church setting, it is recommended that stakeholders partner with churches that have existing structures to support health promotion such as a health ministry, or help them build this capacity.  
Located in MPRC People / Craig Fryer, Dr.P.H. / Craig Fryer Publications