There are a growing number of initiatives to address social determinants of health within and outside of the health care system. Addressing them is not only important for improving overall health, but also for reducing health disparities that are often rooted in social and economic disadvantages. The Center for Health Care Management and Policy at UC Irvine Paul Merage School of Business is hosting an event to discuss insights on incorporating social determinants of health to improve health outcomes.
Oladele “Dele” Ogunseitan, professor and founding chair of the Department of Population Health & Disease Prevention at the University of California, Irvine, has been selected as a UC Presidential Chair. During his five-year nonrenewable term, he will help advance campuswide goals of encouraging new or interdisciplinary program development and enhancing the quality of existing academic programs. His appointment marks only the second time a UCI faculty member has held the distinction.
Enrique Valencia believes there are poisons in the soil in Santa Ana which are adversely affecting poorer neighborhoods. His organization, Orange County Environmental Justice, has been working with UC Irvine and other community members for the last two years to determine whether lead levels in Santa Ana soils are high enough to negatively affect residents.
Pregnancy complications, including gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, pre-eclampsia, and eclampsia, are major causes of perinatal morbidity and mortality, and are strongly linked to cardiovascular and metabolic diseases later for both mother and offspring. A very small number of studies suggest that ambient air pollution may increase risk for pregnancy complications; however, these studies have major limitations including lack of high quality data for outcomes, co-morbidities and air pollution exposure estimates, focus on individual air pollutants rather than pollutant mixtures, and lack of understanding of the mediation pathways of maternal co-morbidity. Researchers from UCI and Kaiser Permanente Southern California recently received $2.5 million funding from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to conduct a 4-year study to elucidate the risk of pregnancy complications from exposure to air pollutant mixtures of both gases and particulate matter. This study is built upon on a longitudinal (pre-conception through postpartum) pregnancy cohort of ~400,000 singleton pregnancies in 2008-2018 that have prospectively-recorded clinical data and residential addresses from the electronic health record of Kaiser Permanente Southern California members. The study will leverage state-of-the-art spatiotemporal air pollution modeling and novel statistical methods with high quality and rich clinical information in the prospective cohort. In addition to the main associations between individual-level air pollution exposure and risk of pregnancy complications, the researchers will examine heterogeneity of risk by socioeconomic status, maternal and other environmental factors (e.g. green space, weather), potential underlying mechanisms, susceptible sub-populations, and time windows of susceptibility. Further, they will examine spatially-varying risk, which can guide a targeted approach, allowing policy-makers to focus on areas where pollution reduction is likely to reap the greatest health benefits. This study has important and broad implications in the U.S. and worldwide, particularly in urban areas with high pollution and rapid urbanization.