Race/Ethnicity, DNA Methylation, and Disparities in Cardiovascular Mortality: NHANES 1999-2002
Investigators: Belinda L. Needham, Jennifer A. Smith, Xiang Zhou, Bhramar Mukherjee
Funding: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, 2017-2022 (1 R01 MD 011721 01)
US blacks are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease (CVD) than US whites. This study will help determine whether black-white differences in DNA methylation (DNAm) help explain why blacks are more likely than whites to die from CVD. We will examine DNAm patterns among black and non-Hispanic white participants in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 1999-2002), a nationally representative population-based sample with detailed measures on potential underlying mechanisms of racial/ethnic differences in DNAm, including health behaviors, environmental toxicant exposures, and individual- and neighborhood-level social and economic factors, as well as genetic data to account for population stratification. Because DNAm is potentially modifiable, results from this work could be used to develop interventions to improve cardiovascular health and reduce disparities in cardiovascular death.