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Cliff Notes

Quick summaries of research we’re publishing and presenting.

Holtz, K., Simkus, A., Fleming, M., Wanty, N., & Twombly, E. (2023). How self-ratings of risk-taking, self-control, and leadership relate to youth vaping onset.

Youth with higher vape usage had significantly higher self-ratings of risk taking than youth who had not vaped. But surprisingly, youth who reported vaping regularly rated themselves highly on leadership and self-control. Understanding the psychographic characteristics of vaping youth can inform high-impact prevention and cessation messages.

Wanty, N.I., Cooper, D.L., Simkus A., Twombly, E.C., McCalla, S., Holtz, K.D., et al  (2022). A provider-based approach to address racial disparities in lupus clinical trial participation.

An online educational course to train medical providers to refer Black and Latino patients to lupus clinical trials showed positive impacts on knowledge, attitudes, and intentions to refer.  These findings suggest that involving medical providers may increase much-needed minority representation in clinical trials.

Holtz, K., Simkus, A., Fleming, M., Wanty, N., & Twombly, E. (2022). Sleep deprivation and adolescent susceptibility to vaping in the United States.

Adolescent sleep deprivation is associated with susceptibility to vaping, which suggests new approaches for prevention.

Holtz, K., Simkus, A., Fleming, M., Wanty, N., & Twombly, E. (March, 2022). How exposure to influencers promoting vapes on social media relates to degree of use among adolescents

Youth with higher vape usage report significantly greater exposure to influencers promoting vapes and report significantly more perceived influence from celebrities and influencers.

Research Briefs

KDHRC has things to say. You can find our research in top journals,
leading conferences, and right here, in our Informing Public Health research briefs,
which summarize our research advances.

November 2023

Kristen D. Holtz, Eric C. Twombly, Andrew Simkus, and Nicole I. Wanty

The increasing use of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), also known as e-cigarettes or vapes, among youth has become an important, recent concern. There is increasing evidence that such use, typically referred to as vaping, produces substantial negative health and behavioral consequences, potentially long-term. As a nicotine delivery device, ENDS are attractive to many youths because they tend to be easily obtained and are odorless to use and easy to conceal. ENDS may deliver nicotine and other harmful chemicals at levels that surpass conventional cigarettes. Taken on the whole, ENDS and their use by youth constitute an important public health and public policy problem.

September 2023

Dexter L. Cooper, Andrew Simkus, Nicole I. Wanty, Annie McNeill, and Kristen Holtz

In our previous Practice brief 22, CHW Support of Male Caregivers – Conversations and Takeaways we explored some of the key insights that we gathered during our virtual convening to discuss nuanced needs, experiences, and perceptions of male caregivers. In addition to these topics, the convening also discussed potential solutions and strategies for helping community health workers (CHWs) identify, build rapport with, and ultimately offer support to male caregivers. In this brief we review findings on this topic to inform future CHW-led interventions and caregiver support services.

August 2023

Dexter L. Cooper, Andrew Simkus, Nicole I. Wanty, Annie McNeill, and Kristen Holtz

In the United States (US), there is a growing need for informal caregivers, coinciding with the number of baby boomers now transitioning into later stages of life that require support with daily tasks. Informal caregivers are family members or close friends of aging individuals who provide voluntary support with physical and/or mental disabilities to a care recipient. While the act of caregiving may be a meaningful role, it often comes with burdens that may affect the mental or physical health of the caregiver.

June 2023

Andrew Simkus, Annie McNeill, Nicole I. Wanty, and Kristen D. Holtz

Clinical trials (CTs) in the United States (US) have struggled to adequately enroll minority racial and ethnic groups to participate in drug efficacy studies. Lack of representation in CTs makes it harder to assess the associated risks and benefits of a new treatment among minority patients. Without accurate assessments of a drug’s effects on minority patients, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is limited in their ability to approve new treatments for use among minority populations.

May 2023

Nicole I. Wanty, Dexter L. Cooper, Andrew Simkus, Kristen D. Holtz

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disorder that disproportionately affects women and minorities. Estimates report up to 90% of lupus patients are women. Black and Latino individuals experience up to three-times the lupus incidence rate, more severe disease symptoms, a higher frequency of lupus-related complications, and a sharply higher mortality rate compared to non-Latino White individuals.

January 2023

Dexter L. Cooper, Morgan L. Fleming, Kristen D. Holtz, Nicole I. Wanty, and Andrew Simkus

Tooth decay, the most common and preventable chronic disease among children in the U.S., afflicts nearly one of four Americans ages 3 to 5. The prevalence of tooth decay increases from 21 percent among children ages 2-5 to 54-59 percent among adolescents ages 12-19, which indicates a persistent pattern of oral health problems that worsens with age. Tooth decay, especially when untreated, creates lasting and substantial physical and psychosocial consequences for children and adolescents.

November 2019

Kristen D. Holtz, Eric C. Twombly, Nicole I. Wanty, Dianna Bonilla, Motolani Aina, and Fakari J. Gresham

Since their introduction to the marketplace only a decade ago, electronic cigarettes (more commonly called vapes) have been rapidly adopted for use by youth, creating a public health epidemic. In the U.S., from 2017 to 2018, vaping by youth increased by 78 percent. Now, more than 3.6 million middle and high school students – roughly one in five high school students and one in twenty middle school students – have vaped in the past year.1 Vapes are the most commonly used tobacco delivery product among youth and show youth usage rates substantially higher than any other drugs of abuse.

April 2019

Nicole I. Wanty, Eric C. Twombly, Dianna Bonilla, and Kristen D. Holtz

Childhood tooth decay is a significant public health problem in the United States (U.S.) and one of the country’s greatest unmet health needs (Boyles, 2011). Not only can tooth decay produce lasting physical pain and emotional suffering for children afflicted with it, but it also has substantial societal ramifications, such as costing U.S. taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars annually, mostly because of emergency room care for preventable tooth pain (Pettinato, Webb, & Seale, 2000; The Pew Center on the States, 2012). And though all children are susceptible to tooth decay, it is disproportionately evident in specific demographic groups. Indeed, Latino children and children living in poverty have greater amounts of tooth decay, more severe tooth decay, and more untreated decay (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research [NIDCR], 2011).

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