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Cancer

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Dr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor is a professor of family and preventive medicine at the UCSD School of Medicine. An internationally recognized expert in epidemiology, Barrett-Connor's main focus is on the factors promoting a healthy old age. She is founder and director of the three-decade-old Rancho Bernardo Heart and Chronic Disease Study, which has produced data defining causal factors for diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis as well as cardiovascular disease. Her research focuses on healthy aging and gender differences in disease, with strong emphasis on women's health.

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Danielle Harvey is an associate adjunct professor in the department of public health sciences at UC Davis. Her research focuses on survival analysis, correlated event times, informative censoring, repeated measures, computational methods, and high-dimensional data as in MRI or PET scans. Her collaborative research includes work on Alzheimer's, cancer, end-of-life care, dosing errors, and health services and public health issues.

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C. Duane Dauner is president of the California Hospital Association, the statewide leader representing the interests of hospitals, health systems and other health care providers in California. CHA includes nearly 500 hospital and health system members and more than 200 associate members.

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Dr. Beate Ritz is a professor in the department of epidemiology and environmental health at the UCLA School of Public Health, and in the department of neurology at the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine. Ritz is also a member of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, the NIEHS-UCLA-USC Environmental Health Science Center, and a participant in the UCLA EPA-Particle Center effort. She is the co-director of the NIEHS-funded UCLA Center for Gene-Environment Studies in Parkinson's Disease.

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Alexander Tsodikov is a professor of biostatistics at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health. He studies survival analysis, estimation of cure rates, computational methods in statistics, semiparametric models, frailty models, modeling and analysis of cancer, design of optimal surveillance schedules, cancer screening, modeling incidence and mortality trends. His collaborative research includes clinical trials, antisense oligonucleotides, population-based and clinical studies of prostate cancer, and analysis of cancer registry data for breast cancer. Tsodikov received his Ph.D.

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This racial group includes any of the original peoples of North, South and Central America who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment. The five leading causes of death among American Indians and Alaska Natives are heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, diabetes and chronic liver disease/cirrhosis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities. Native Americans suffer disproportionately high rates of obesity, infant mortality, mental health problems and substance abuse.

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The health concerns of African-Americans are varied and critical. African-American men have the highest death rate of all racial and ethnic groups, male and female. The 10 leading causes of death for African-Americans are: heart disease; cancer; stroke; diabetes; unintentional injuries; homicide; nephritis, nephritic syndrome and nephrosis; chronic lower respiratory disease; HIV/AIDS and septicemia. There is also a high prevalence of hypertension, infant mortality and tuberculosis.

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Cancer is the leading cause of death for Asian Americans, though heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans in general. Asian Americans also have a disproportionately high incidence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, liver disease, and tuberculosis. They are more likely to smoke, a risk factor for numerous diseases. Despite these factors, Asian American women have the longest life expectancy (85.8 years) of any ethnic group in the United States. Many Asian Americans face language and cultural barriers to obtaining health care.

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Get tips on covering medical research stories from veteran AP reporter Lauran Neergaard.

 

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In 2002, health care costs, particularly for cancer treatments, were soaring for seniors in some Medicare HMOs. After negative publicity about one HMO's drastic increase in chemotherapy copayments, the HMO agreed to reduce the cost to make it more affordable for patients.

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