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Jackson Heart Study Celebrates 10 Years

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Jackson Heart Study (JHS), based at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS, one of the nation’s most important efforts to end CVD disparities between blacks and whites.

To commemorate the anniversary, JHS held a conference in late September. With the theme Toward Resolution of Cardiovascular Health Disparities, the conference will feature speakers from Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, the National Institutes of Health, Duke University, the American Heart Association, Northwestern University and other prominent research institutions.

The conference included a kick-off event hosted by Dr. John Ruffin, Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Ruffin challenged the Heart Study Scholars, young scientists and physicians from the ranks of Tougaloo College undergraduates and Jackson high school students, to take advantage of the variety of challenges and opportunities available to them.

"We are a hub, collaborating with Harvard and its hospitals, Johns Hopkins, University of Alabama, Wake Forest University, Broad Institute, the Mayo Clinic—the major players in epidemiology, genetics, social determinants of disease, obesity and nutrition," said JHS Principal Investigator Herman P. Taylor, MD, MPH.

Through numerous medical tests, scans, exams and interviews, JHS has followed 5,300 African-Americans in Jackson. It also analyses lifestyle factors such as diet and community and church involvement. The study has served as a springboard for community health outreach and given training opportunities to dozens of undergraduate students interested in science, medical and public-health careers.

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