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CANCELLED - SSRI/DuPRI Seminar Series ~ Race/Ethnicity, Poverty, Urban Stressors and Telomere Length in a Detroit Community-Based Sample

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Thursday, April 16, 2015
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3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
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Jay Pearson, PhD - Assistant Professor (Duke University)
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DuPRI Seminar Series

ABSTRACT: Residents of distressed urban areas suffer early aging-related disease and excess mortality. Using a community-based participatory research approach in collaboration between social researchers and cellular biologists, we collected a unique data set of black, white, or Mexican adults from a stratified, multi-stage probability sample of three Detroit neighborhoods. We drew venous blood and measured Telomere Length (TL), an indicator of stress-mediated biological aging, linking respondents' TL to their community survey responses. We regressed TL on socioeconomic, psychosocial, neighborhood, and behavioral stressors, hypothesizing and finding an interaction between poverty and racial/ethnic group. Our findings suggest unobserved heterogeneity bias is an important threat to the validity of estimates of TL differences by race/ethnicity. They point to health impacts of social identity as contingent, the products of structurally-rooted social inequality and biopsychosocial processes. Seminar #4411

Contact: Mekisha Mebane