Behavioral Medicine Research Center

The Behavioral Medicine Research Center (BMRC) conducts research in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue, diabetes and HIV/AIDS. Much of the cardiovascular research was derived from an NIH NHLBI program project (1986-2013), clinical trials (e.g., ENRICHD), the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS-SOL) 2006-2019, and multiple R01 grants (e.g., animal models of atherosclerosis) and science education partnerships from the Office of the Director of the NIH. Other research into Cancer, often in conjunction with the Sylvester Cancer Institute are based on funding from the National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society. The BMRC has also hosted NIH program project and R01 grants in the area of HIV/AIDS, also using the resources of the Center for AIDS Research (CFAR).

Cardiovascular Diseases

Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL)

Hispanic Community Children’s Health/ Study of Latino Youth (SOL Youth)

Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome, and Meal-related Glycemia Social Environment, Sympathetic Nervous System & Atherosclerosis in WHHL Rabbits Heart Smart Get in the GROOVE! Biobehavioral Bases of CHD Risk and Management

Cancer

The Coping & Recovery Project: Stress Management for Women Undergoing Treatment for Breast Cancer Project CARE: Stress Management in Low-Income Black Women with Breast Cancer Ethnic Disparities in the Impact of Cancer on Health Risk of CRC Patients and Their Caregivers Quality of Life of Cancer Survivors and Their Family Caregivers Tobacco Obesity and Oncology Laboratory (TOOL) Studies
  • NewU
  • Uquit
  • FitCANES
  • E-Cigarette Survey
  • Smoke Break Study
  • Serotonin, Personality, and Smoking Cessation

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Stress Management for Persons with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

HIV/AIDS

Behavioral Management and Stress Responses in HIV/AIDS HIV Prevention and Trauma Treatment for MSM with Childhood Sexual Abuse Histories Project THRIVE

Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL)

Study website http://www.cscc.unc.edu/hchs/
Faculty investigators Neil Schneiderman (Principal Investigator), Marc Gellman, Barry Hurwitz, Maria Llabre

The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) is a multi-site, interdisciplinary epidemiologic study in Hispanic populations in the U.S. sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Its goals include studying the prevalence and development of disease in Hispanics, the role of acculturation, and identifying risk factors that play protective or harmful roles in Hispanics. The longitudinal study began in 2006 and enrolled a population of 16,000 persons of Hispanic origin, specifically Cuban, Puerto Rican, Mexican, and Central American. They were recruited through four Field Centers in Miami, Chicago, Bronx, NY, and San Diego. The Field Centers are associated with the University of Miami; University of Illinois, Chicago; Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University; and San Diego State University. Each Field Center has already recruited over 4,000 participants at each site. Study participants aged 18-74 years at the beginning of the study underwent an extensive clinic examination and assessments to determine baseline risk factors (Visit 1). Distinctive factors hypothesized to influence risk of cardiovascular disease that were measured included social, behavioral, occupational and lifestyle characteristics (e.g., nutrition, physical activity) as well as acculturation, psychosocial factors and barriers to healthcare. Measures were taken of obesity, diabetes, lung function, cognitive function, hearing, dental status, sleep and cardiovascular risk factors. Annual follow-up interviews are ongoing to determine health outcomes of interest. Study results are being disseminated through scientific journals and also conveyed to the communities involved in the study in order to improve public health at the local level.

Prevalence of Major Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Cardiovascular Diseases Among Hispanic/Latino Individuals of Diverse Backgrounds in the United States

The study was renewed in 2013 and will continue at least until 2019. All of the 16,000 participants will be invited back to repeat many of the clinic examination and assessments (Visit 2). Currently several ancillary studies are collecting additional data from the 16,000 participants already enrolled in the main Hispanic study.

Echocardiographic Study of Latinos/Hispanics (ECHO-SOL)

Faculty investigators Barry Hurwitz (Principal Investigator-Miami Site), Martin Bilsker, Neil Schneiderman

Hispanics have are almost two-fold more likely than non-Hispanic whites to have abnormal cardiac structure indexed by left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy. Differences in abnormal cardiac structure among Hispanics are likely to deleteriously influence cardiac function and ultimately cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. In addition, Hispanics often experience a high burden of stress, depression and anxiety as they adapt to the economic, social, and cultural challenges of life in the US. Despite their higher risk profile, strong familial and social ties (familismo) are thought to have a stress buffering effect and be potentially protective for Hispanic adults. Yet the longer Hispanics live in the U.S. and integrate into U.S. life (acculturation), the greater the risk of CVD. Psychosocial factors are known to predict intermediate determinants of cardiac structure and function, such as obesity and hypertension, but have not been studied in relation to cardiac endpoints among Hispanics. Therefore, the overall goal of ECHO-SOL is to establish a unique cohort that will permit study of cardiac structure and function in Hispanic adult men and women 45 years of age and older. ECHO-SOL is an ancillary study to the NIH-funded Hispanic Community Health Study-Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL), a population-based study of 16,000 Hispanics. ECHO-SOL is being conducted on 1,800 participants already enrolled in HCHS/SOL across four US sites (Bronx, NY; Chicago; San Diego; Miami), using a balanced enrollment design to obtain near-equal numbers of Hispanic subgroup representation. ECHO-SOL is providing for the first time, the largest data set of echocardiographic parameters focused solely on U.S. Hispanics with strong subgroup representation (Central American, Cuban, Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South American). This study will allow for the determination of left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy prevalence among Hispanics sub-groups. The study will also be the first to untangle the relative importance of both the traditional and psychosocial/socioeconomic determinants (e.g., acculturation, familismo, SES) of differences in cardiac structure and function and thus CVD risk differences among Hispanic sub-groups.