Thematically, while RTRN will address the key diseases that disproportionately affect minority communities, the initial focus will integrate the science of discovery and delivery of innovative care for Cardiovascular (CV) and related diseases.
The focus on CV and related diseases builds upon key strengths in RCMI's institutions (NHLBI funded Jackson Heart Study, the multi-site NIDDK funded African American Study on Kidney Disease and Hypertension at Howard, Meharry, Morehouse and Drew, and the Cardiovascular Research Institute at Morehouse University). CV and related diseases are the leading cause of death in the U.S. Although the last two decades have seen innovative advances in CV disease and risk factors, it remains the leading cause of death. Additionally, the recognition of a multitude of modifiable risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes (DM), and obesity with hypertriglyceridemia and hyperlipidemia sedentary lifestyle remain more prevalent and severe among racial/ethnic minority populations.7 Diabetes and obesity, two critical risk factors for CV and related diseases (e.g., stroke, kidney disease, peripheral vascular disease, ophthalmologic vascular disease), are commonly recognized as the leading health epidemics in the nation, and are one and one-half to two times more common in minority communities. They are also among the 28 focus areas highlighted in Healthy People 2010, the nation's blueprint to increase quality and years of healthy life and eliminate health disparities.8
Sources: American Heart Association. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics — 2003 Update. Dallas, Tex.: American Heart Association, 2002.
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2010 (conference Edition). 2 Volumes, 2000.
Promote intellectual exchange
Generate innovative inter - and multi-disciplinary research
Facilitate the movement of scientific advances across the translational research spectrum