Health-care specialists, including Sarah J. Gehlert, PhD, at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, are working to improve breast cancer care for African-American women living in North St. Louis City, where death rates from breast cancer are disproportionately high.
Preventing Type 2 diabetes among African-American womenWhile culturally traditional foods are a big part of the African-American heritage, they also are a significant factor in the type 2 diabetes epidemic among African-American women. And while the prevalance of type 2 diabetes is associated with higher rates of obesity, diabetes nutrition education programs have been relatively unsuccessful in attracting and retaining African-American women. However a new study shows that there is a way to reach members of this population and make a positive impact on their dietary behavior.
Photo by David Kilper/WUSTL PhotoWendy F. Auslander, Ph.D. (left), works with St. Louis-area peer counselors in the “Eat Well, Live Well” program she pioneered with colleagues at the School of Medicine.As the cases of type 2 diabetes in African-American women increase at an epidemic rate, researchers are examining risk factors involved with this disease in order to create programs that will hopefully slow this growing problem. According to a recent study at the George Warren Brown (GWB) School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, African-American women at risk for type 2 diabetes experience long periods of depression due, in part, to a lack of economic and social resources. “At the beginning of our study, 40 percent of our sample of African-American women at risk for type 2 diabetes reported clinically significant depression,” says Wendy Auslander, Ph.D., professor at GWB and co-author of the study. “Unlike their nondepressed peers, these women reported fewer economic assets and greater economic distress. Issues such as unemployment, low self-esteem and a low appraisal of their economic situation contributed to their depression.”