Neighborhood Effects on Health in Pennsylvania

PI(s): Cynthia H Chuang, MD, MSc

Purpose: To study how environmental and community conditions, including social determinants of health and contextual factors arising out of built and natural environments influence health in Pennsylvania. Our initial two areas of health focus will be: 1) obesity and its role in the asthma epidemic and 2) rural versus urban differences in prevalence and predictors of high-risk opioid prescribing for young adult patients.

Goal(s): To understand the comparative effectiveness of obesity counseling – as covered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) – in improving weight loss for adults either with or at high risk of type 2 diabetes.

Study Design: It has become increasingly evident that health depends not only on our individual characteristics, but also on our exposure to community and environmental conditions, such as individual exposures, social determinants of health, and contextual factors arising out of built and natural environments. We will integrate multi-source, multi-dimensional contextual data with individual patient data from the electronic health record (EHR) to better understand the influence of community and environmental factors on health.

Study design: Prospective chart/record review

PaTH Partners:

  • Penn State Hershey

Sponsor: PA Tobacco Settlement Fund

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