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Research Action for Health Network (REACHnet) Projects

*Collaborative projects between REACHnet and LA CaTS Biomedical Informatics and other Cores

The Incidence and Prevalence of Parkinson's disease: A Retrospective Study

Little is known about racial differences in the incidence and prevalence of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Data suggest racial differences in the onset and progression of PD; however studies are few and underpowered. The study aims are:

  1. To test the hypothesis that the incidence, prevalence and progression of PD differ across race.
  2. To estimate the degree to which the incidence, prevalence and progression of PD interact with racial differences in prevalence of co-morbidities.

In partnership with the LA CaTS Biomedical Informatics, Biostatistics and Health Literacy Cores we will design and implement a query of retrospective data from Louisiana including Parkinson’s disease severity, additional diagnoses, demographic data and insurance status. We will identify differences in incidence and prevalence rates in collaboration with LA CaTS statisticians (AIM 1), and perform mediation analysis to evaluate the degree to which comorbid conditions mediate the relationship between race and disease progression (AIM 2).

The Heart is the Matter: Building an Understanding of Congenital Heart Disease in Louisiana

Across the United States, there is variability in congenital heart disease prevalence and outcomes. Understanding this variability requires investigation of the influences of genetics, environment, and health care delivery on the pathogenesis of disease and on the care of patients. For patients in Louisiana with congenital heart disease, the contribution of each of these factors remains undefined. The goal of this study is to better understand the epidemiology of congenital heart disease in Louisiana, and the patterns of prenatal care for patients with CHD in the state. Gaining an understanding of the epidemiology of congenital heart disease in Louisiana can focus effective health care delivery to this patient population.

The Landscape of End-of-Life Cancer Care in the Deep South

Louisiana has the 2nd highest cancer incidence rate and 4th highest cancer mortality rate in the country. Quality of life is crucial for patients who are dying of cancer. Receipt of more intense care in the final months of life hinders quality of life, both for patients and family caregivers. Leveraging REACHnet data of cancer decedents, this research will examine whether the intensity of end-of-life care differs depending on the patient’s race as well as comorbid health issues, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, smoking behaviors, and alcohol use. Findings will have implications for future research aimed at improving care and quality of life for patients with advanced cancer and their family caregivers.

Influenza infection in diabetic and elderly patients

The intent of applying to this Application is to (1) provide further support to ongoing research projects (specifically our recent LA CaTS pilot project “Vaccine efficacy in diabetic and elderly subjects”) and (2) clarify the role of seasonal influenza or flu infection on local diabetic populations using the REACHnet database. Diabetic patients are known to have complications with flu. However, except for rates of vaccination there is no published data on the incidence and complications from flu infection in regional diabetic patients. The objective of these studies is to perform a retrospective epidemiological analysis to define the burden of influenza infection on regional diabetic populations.