News in Brief
UCI Researchers Find Links Between Race and Rates of Cardiovascular Diseases
A study published by UCI researchers has found that Latino and black adults are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. The study found that individuals who reported a higher frequency of discriminatory instances faced also experienced higher blood pressure levels, which put them at risk of more heart diseases.
Researchers conducted in-person interviews with subjects, recording their blood pressure at three different instances during the interviews in which the subjects recounted moments dealing with interpersonal discrimination and institutional bias. The study was based on data collected from various surveys done in Detroit from 2002 to 2008.
Alana LeBrón, an assistant professor of Chicano/Latino studies and public health told UCI News, “A unique feature of this data set is that it provided experience and health variables from the same participants over time, facilitating an examination of changes in discrimination and cardiovascular risk.”
“If we are to improve the health of our society and eliminate health inequities, we must invest in undoing and eliminating racism, nativism, classism — all of the ‘isms.’”
Published on online journal “Ethnicity & Health,” the study was completed in partnership with researchers from the University of Michigan, Detroit Hispanic Development Corp. and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Informatics Professor Receives Grant to Study Workplace Stress
Informatics professor Gloria Mark, along with two other co-investigators, was awarded a grant of $1.2 million (of which Mark will receive $420,000) by the National Science Foundation Cyber-Human Systems to conduct a study that would identify and address workplace stress.
The long-term study aims to make use of features in common technological devices used in workplaces to identify stress as well as find exercises to help relieve stress. The research would help to identify the effectiveness of those devices to detect stress and allow researchers to create and recommend stress-reducing exercises and developing apps that would promote relaxation.
The grant will run until June 2020.
UCI Professor Finds Growing Divide In Digital Experiences Among Teens
Candice Odgers, professor of psychology and social behavior, found that teenagers of lower-income backgrounds faced more negative online experiences, which in turn leads to more negative experiences beyond the internet.
Analyzing data from various studies, Odgers found that access to the internet among 10-15 year olds was consistent across income backgrounds however, those coming from economically disadvantaged households experienced higher rates of cyberspace bullying.
“The digital divide is now arising from the different types of online experiences young people are having. The evidence so far suggests that smartphones may serve as mirrors reflecting problems teens already have. Those from low-income families said that social media experiences more frequently spilled over into real life, causing more offline fights and problems at school,” Odgers told UCI News.
Odgers’ findings were published online in the journal “Nature.”