Women's Health

womens health

 

 

faculty-icon  Dr. David Barondess

 

Poly-Drug Use and Skeletal Health

A current research interest involves evaluating the prospect that recent-onset, poly-drug use and abuse (especially alcohol and tobacco in combination) portends the development of a poly-drug dependence syndrome. More broadly, in young and middle-aged adults (especially females) for whom a poly-drug dependence syndrome may persist, healthy lifestyle factors (especially those related to nutritional adequacy and physical activity) know to be salutary in maintaining skeletal health may deteriorate and ultimately manifest in increased prevalence of osteopenia and osteoporosis. Premature loss of skeletal density, especially in biomechanically-sensitive anatomical sites such as the proximal femur where the preponderance of fragility fractures are known to occur, is of concern in clinical and public health domains and motivates holistic preventative approaches that minimize premature bone loss and/or maximize bone gain. 

 


 

faculty-icon  Dr. Claudia Holzman

 

The Pregnancy Outcomes and Community Health follow-up study, POUCHmoms

The NIH-funded POUCHmoms Study followed 678 women from the original POUCH Study pregnancy cohort and assessed their health status 7-15 years after the POUCH Study. The primary focus is on cardiovascular health and links between pregnancy health and later-life health with the goals of early detection and timely interventions to reduce women’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Data collected at follow-up include women’s lifestyle factors (e.g. diet, exercise, sleep habits), social and psychological well-being, blood pressure, carotid vessel ultrasound measures, heart rate variability, and biomarkers of health in blood samples (e.g. inflammation, lipids). We welcome collaborators who seek to work with existing data or use stored biologic samples to probe new hypotheses. (co-PIs, Claudia Holzman, Janet Catov from University of Pittsburgh)

 

 


 

faculty-icon  Dr. Claire Margerison

 

Policy Change and Women’s Health

Our research team is assessing the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on reproductive health behaviors, preconception preventive health, pregnancy health, and postpartum health. We are particularly interested in whether and how the ACA impacted racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in women’s health. The project is led by Dr. Claire Margerison and funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (R01095951, R01095951-02S1, and F31103404) and by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (project #78812).

 

Pregnancy-Associated Mortality and Morbidity due to Drugs, Self-harm, and Suicide


We are estimating the incidence of deaths during pregnancy and postpartum due to drugs, suicide, and homicide in the US as a whole and assessing whether this incidence has increased over time and/or differs by race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or geography. We are also investigating to what extent deaths represent the “tip of an iceberg” of maternal suffering and service utilization due to drugs, self-harm, and violence and we are identifying “red flags” that clinicians can use to identify women at risk of such morbidity or mortality in the postpartum period. The project is led by Dr. Claire Margerison and funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (R01 HD102319).

 

 


 

faculty-icon  Dr. Mathew Reeves

 

Stroke in Women

Mathew Reeves is a professor of epidemiology with an interest in stroke in women. Over the last 15 years he has published extensively on the topic of sex differences in stroke with a focus on disparities in access to care in women (including randomized trials), and the causes of poorer outcomes in women following a stroke.  Much of this work involves conducting meta-analyses of existing literature or contributing to writing national-level clinical guidelines on the prevention and treatment of stroke in women.  He is as associated faculty member with the Center for Gender in Global Context (GenCen) at MSU.

 

 


 

 

faculty-icon  Dr. Kristen Upson

 

Women’s Risk of Endometriosis Study

Endometriosis is characterized by the presence of endometrial-like tissue outside the uterus. Women with endometriosis frequently report pain symptoms and these symptoms can be chronic and debilitating. To understand the risk factors for this condition, we are using data from the Women’s Risk of Endometriosis (WREN) study, a population-based case-control study of health plan enrollees of Group Health (now known as Kaiser Permanente Washington). This study was conducted by Dr. Victoria Holt at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. Ongoing research projects using these data are being led by Dr. Kristen Upson at Michigan State University.

 

Toxic metals and women’s health

Uterine fibroids, benign tumors of the uterine smooth muscle, are common in women and can confer substantial morbidity. In this study, funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research, NIH, we are investigating the role of toxic metals in the development of uterine fibroids. We are also examining ways in which common factors unique to reproductive-age women, such as contraception and menstrual bleeding, may increase toxic metal body burden. This research uses data from the Study of Environment, Lifestyle & Fibroids (SELF), a cohort of 1,693 African-American women who were enrolled at ages 23-34 years and followed for five years for the development of uterine fibroids. The SELF project focusing on toxic metals and women’s health is being led by Dr. Kristen Upson at Michigan State University.

 

Epidemiology of Adenomyosis

Adenomyosis, characterized by the presence of endometrial glands and stroma within the myometrium, can have a substantial impact on the quality of women’s lives. Since the diagnosis of adenomyosis has historically been limited to the examination of uterine specimens from hysterectomy, this has posed challenges in the design of valid epidemiologic studies and has limited our understanding of the risk factors for this condition. To address this data gap, we are using data from a novel case-control study of health plan enrollees conducted by Dr. Victoria Holt at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, in collaboration with Group Health, now known as Kaiser Permanente Washington. Ongoing research projects using these data are being led by Dr. Kristen Upson at Michigan State University.