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Population Health News

Faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, affiliated investigators, and staff at NYU Langone’s Department of Population Health consistently garner national awards for their work and accomplishments. They also speak at many events and are quoted in major media outlets.


How Going to Church Can Lower Blood Pressure

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Read more: How Going to Church Can Lower Blood Pressure

Heavy Drinking May Change the Bacteria in Your Mouth and Raise Gum Disease Risk

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Read more: Heavy Drinking May Change the Bacteria in Your Mouth and Raise Gum Disease Risk

$1.5 Million Awarded to NYU-CUNY Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network

In September 2019, the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy $1.5 million over the next five years to participate in the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN) as one of its eight collaborating centers.

The NYU-CUNY CPCRN, part of the NYU-CUNY Prevention Research Center, is conducting two research projects led by Chau Trinh-Shevrin, DrPH. The first project will evaluate factors affecting the implementation of strategies to improve access to care and prevent infection-related cancers among Asian American communities through electronic health record-based clinical support and community health worker strategies. The second project is a formative study, to guide early development of a mental health preventive intervention to reduce anxiety, depression, and suicide risk among Asian American cancer patients and survivors. Co-investigators include Simona C. Kwon, DrPH, MPH, Nadia S. Islam, PhD, and Lorna E. Thorpe, PhD, MPH, as well as Terry Huang and Victoria Ngo from CUNY.

Read more about the launch.

Dr. Ogedegbe Selected as Newest Member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

NYU Grossman School of Medicine congratulates Olugbenga G. Ogedegbe, MD, MPH, the Dr. Adolph and Margaret Berger Professor of Medicine and Population Health and director of the Center for Healthful Behavior Change and the Division of Health and Behavior, on his appointment to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The task force is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine that makes recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, and preventive medicine.

Dr. Ogedegbe will join fellow experts in evidence-based medicine from primary care and prevention-related fields including internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, behavioral health, obstetrics and gynecology, and nursing to rigorously review evidence and evaluate the benefits and harms of preventive services. Recommendations from the task force have informed clinical standards for many professional societies, health organizations, and medical quality review groups.

Learn more about Dr. Ogedegbe's new role.

NYU-CUNY Prevention Research Center Awarded Renewed Funding from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded the NYU-CUNY Prevention Research Center (PRC), an innovative partnership between NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, more than $3 million for its third cycle of funding over the next 5 years. The funding advances a research and translation agenda focused on disseminating and scaling effective community health worker (CHW) and other community–clinical linkage intervention models to improve access to care and reduce chronic disparities among socially disadvantaged populations. PRC is also launching a new partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to evaluate a novel CHW-facilitated trauma-informed intervention to improve the health of justice-involved populations. Lorna E. Thorpe, PhD, MPH; Nadia S. Islam, PhD; Chau Trinh-Shevrin, DrPH; and Maria R. Khan, PhD, MPH, as well as Terry Huang from CUNY, all have leadership roles in the center. PRC also received three CDC supplemental awards: to join CDC collaborating networks for cancer (principal investigator: Dr. Trinh-Shevrin) and epilepsy (principal investigator: Tanya Spruill, PhD), and develop a model electronic health record–based cancer surveillance report (principal investigator: Dr. Thorpe). Learn more about the CDC renewal funding (Kerberos ID and password required).

Inaugural NY Sleep Fest 2019

On August 1, 2019, NYU Langone hosted the inaugural NY Sleep Fest, bringing together world-renowned experts in sleep health and circadian sciences to discuss the hottest and most controversial topics related to sleep. Girardin Jean-Louis, PhD, and his team—Tiffany Donley; Azizi A. Seixas, PhD; Rebecca Robbins; Debbie Chung; and Ferdinand Zizi—organized the summit to spur greater collaboration across the interdisciplinary field of sleep, and to provide innovative solutions to close identified gaps in cardiovascular and brain health. The meeting was moderated by NBC News medical correspondent Dr. John Torres. Learn more about NY Sleep Fest (Kerberos ID and password required).

New Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy Launch

On June 24, 2019, NYU Langone launched the Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy. The new center, led by Magdalena Cerdá, DrPH, uses a multidisciplinary approach to develop scientific evidence on the nature, causes, and consequences of the opioid overdose epidemic. The launch event, which included remarks by Lorna E. Thorpe, PhD, MPH, and Marc N. Gourevitch, MD, MPH, and panel discussions featuring Jennifer McNeely, MD, and colleagues from NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, highlighted the rich portfolio of opioid-related work already underway at NYU Langone. The center plans to focus its work on four fronts: building a central database of policies and outcomes associated with opioid misuse, leveraging data to track the evolution of the opioid overdose epidemic and to predict future hotspots of drug overdose risk, evaluating the impact of specific drug policies and social conditions on opioid misuse, and identifying community features that can build local resilience. The center’s opening was covered in Crain’s Health Pulse.

Dr. Horwitz Named a National Academy of Medicine Emerging Leaders Scholar

Leora Horwitz, MD, associate professor in the Departments of Population Health and Medicine and director of the Center for Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Science, has been named a National Academy of Medicine’s Emerging Leaders in Health and Medicine Scholar for a three-year term beginning July 1, 2019. This special initiative provides opportunities to engage, experience, learn, and develop activities addressing current topics affecting health and medicine under the umbrella of the academy. Dr. Horwitz’s work initially focused on health systems and practices intended to bridge gaps or discontinuities in care. She has studied shift-to-shift transfers among physicians and among nurses, transfers from the emergency department to inpatient units, and the transition from hospital to home. Today, Dr. Horwitz focuses more generally on healthcare redesign and learning health system transformation.

Department of Population Health Hosted the Fourth Annual Health And… Conference

The Department of Population Health hosted our fourth annual Health And… conference, Health And… Childhood and Opportunity, on May 13, 2019. More than 400 researchers, policy makers, community partners, and health system leaders convened at NYU Langone to explore ways for stakeholders across multiple sectors (including healthcare, education, public health, and housing) to better foster children’s development to maximize opportunities for health and wellbeing throughout the life course. The day began with a keynote from New York City Department of Education Chancellor Richard A. Carranza, followed by lively discussions about novel approaches to improve parenting and education inside and outside of established settings, the use of economic interventions such as unconditional cash transfers to address childhood and family poverty, and how to take effective approaches to scale. Faculty who presented throughout the day included Clancy Blair, PhD; Laurie M. Brotman, PhD; Marc N. Gourevitch, MD, MPH ; Moriah E. Thomason, PhD; and Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP.

Why Young Black Women Are at High Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Postdoctoral scholar Jolaade Kalinowski and Tanya Spruill, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Population Health, recently published a piece in the journal Circulation exploring why young black women have a greater cardiovascular disease burden compared with their white counterparts, including more risk factors, earlier onset, and higher mortality rates. The authors suggest two key contributors: first, chronic stress related to discrimination and social justice inequalities; second, underestimation of their risk. To narrow these disparities, the authors recommend greater investment in sex and racial disparities research, improving awareness of cardiovascular disease risk among young black women and their providers, and investing in black women scientists.

Dr. Thorpe’s Research on the Results of New York City’s Trans Fats Ban Covered by The New York Times

In 2006, New York City passed the nation’s first municipal ban of the use of artificial trans fats in restaurant cooking. New research published in the American Journal of Public Health by Lorna E. Thorpe, PhD, MPH, director of the Division of Epidemiology, and NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene colleagues found that in the decade between 2004 and 2014, residents’ blood levels of artificial trans fats—which increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes—dropped, especially among those who eat out often. During this period, the average citywide trans fatty acid levels decreased by 57 percent. Frequent restaurant diners saw an even larger decrease of about 62 percent. Learn more about this research, which was covered by The New York Times.

Dr. Cerdá’s Research on Link Between Opioid Marketing to Physicians and Overdose Deaths Covered by The New York Times

New research from Magdalena Cerdá, DrPH, and her team of investigators published in JAMA Network Open shows that increased marketing of opioid products to physicians—from consulting fees to free meals—is associated with higher opioid prescribing rates and elevated overdose deaths in the United States. According to Dr. Cerdá, findings suggest an urgent need to examine the role the pharmaceutical industry plays in the national opioid crisis. The study was covered in The New York Times.

New Research Led by Dr. Ogedegbe Shows a Faith-Based Intervention Helps Manage Hypertension

New research, led by Olugbenga G. Ogedegbe, MD, MPH, that evaluates the effect of lifestyle intervention on reducing blood pressure among African Americans in black churches found that lifestyle intervention plus motivational interviewing delivered in churches by lay church members (faith leaders) led to a significant reduction in blood pressure compared with health education alone. The findings were published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes and come from the largest study of its kind to date. This study—commonly referred to as FAITH—was covered by CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and many other news outlets.

First Global Study on Hypertension Treatment and Healthcare Worker Density, Led by Dr. Vedanthan, Published in Hypertension

Elevated blood pressure is the leading cause of death worldwide; however, treatment and control rates for hypertension are low. A worldwide analysis published in Hypertension and led by Rajesh Vedanthan, MD, MPH, director of the Section for Global Health, studied the relationship between physician and nurse density and hypertension. The authors found that healthcare worker density was significantly associated with hypertension treatment. Notably, they discovered that hypertension treatment rates are higher in countries with a greater density of nurses, but physician density was not significantly associated.