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Am J Med Sci. 2001 Nov;322(5):243-52.

Capacity for research in minority health: the need for infrastructure plus will.

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Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine, New York, USA.


Cardiovascular mortality has continued to decline, but racial disparities in cardiovascular diseases (CVD) continue to grow. To build the capacity to address these racial disparities, two things will be required. First, a research and policy infrastructure must be in place to provide guidance on what to do and how to do it. Second, the will to implement and activate this infrastructure must be present at the community and policy-making levels. The Jackson Heart Study is an example of a research infrastructure with the economic resources, scientific expertise, and technical manpower required to monitor, organize, assess, and follow a cohort of individuals over time to study the burden, natural history, predictive factors, and level of care for CVD in an African American community. The creation of will within the community for CVD research may require additional strategies than in the majority community, such as community organization and local policy development. These additional efforts at the community level should create a fertile environment to develop research and, ultimately, test strategies for reducing national disparities in cardiovascular health.

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