Oct 17, 2018 2:00 PM

portrait of charles rogers

Charles R. Rogers, PhD, MPH, MS, CHES®, and the Center for Healthy African American Men through Partnerships (CHAAMPS) collaboration featured in a special research collection on racial disparities

Results from several studies pinpoint reasons why risk factors for chronic disease are substantially higher in African American men compared with their white counterparts, including a higher prevalence of hypertension, obesity, and prostate cancer. The Center for Healthy African American Men through Partnerships (CHAAMPS) presented the studies, which propose strategies to solve these disparities, in a special supplement to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

CHAAMPS is a National Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center funded in 2013 by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the NIH that aims to address these inequities in health among African American men. CHAAMPS collaborates with three national partners: 100 Black Men of America, Inc., National USA Foundation, Inc., and the Minnesota Vikings.

The overarching goal of CHAAMPS is to address health disparities affecting African American males. Specifically, CHAAMPS seeks to identify the socioeconomic, behavioral, and biological factors driving and sustaining the pronounced health disparities experienced by African American males, targeting unintentional and violence-related injuries, along with chronic diseases—cardiovascular disease, cancer, and stroke. The ultimate goal of CHAAMPS is to develop, implement, and evaluate interventions that will improve the health of African American males through research, outreach, and training.

“In this supplement, CHAAMPS presents results from several of our most compelling projects, including those focused on racial disparities in medical outcomes, community prevention initiatives, and disease screening,” explained guest editor and CHAAMPS principal investigator, James M. Shikany, DrPH, of the University of Alabama. “These studies demonstrate not only the breadth and extent of disparities affecting the health of black men of all ages, but also the innovative initiatives being developed to address them within CHAAMPS.”

Among the findings, research by Charles R. Rogers, PhD, MPH, MS, CHES®, Huntsman Cancer Institute investigator and assistant professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of Utah, discovered a clear need exists to address historic healthcare system mistrust in all generations of African American men. The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male ended 46 years ago, but continues to be relevant today. This example of abuse continues to haunt the minds and influence behaviors of many African American men and their healthcare decisions.

Historically, prostate cancer hits no group in the world harder than African American men, who are diagnosed with prostate cancer at nearly twice the rate of white men and are underrepresented in prostate cancer research, including validation studies of new clinical tools such as genomic testing. “Our study reinforces the importance of developing successful strategies for increasing black men’s participation in prostate cancer research trials,” said Rogers.

The study also identified barriers to genomic testing, which included a lack of terminology understanding, healthcare system mistrust, reluctance to seek medical care, and unfavorable attitudes toward research. Facilitators included family history, value of prevention, and the desire for health education. Barriers to research study participation included lack of prostate cancer knowledge, confusion about PSA testing, healthcare system distrust, and concerns about misuse of personal health information.

This story contains excerpts from the AJPM and the University of Minnesota.

minority health health equity cancer research public health prostate cancer Cancer Center Research Program Cancer Control and Population Sciences

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