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Thursday, May 27 • 9:00am - 10:30am
Health Considerations

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Jennifer Beltran, Juliette Coia, Vi Nguyen, Jennifer Vuong Racism as a Public Health Crisis 
Health inequity, caused by systematic disparities between communities, results in poor health outcomes and decreased quality of life among certain groups of people within a population. It is accredited to social determinants of health, life stressors, or other social factors present in one’s environment such as transportation, housing, etc. In the U.S., BIPOC individuals report higher levels of negative experiences with health outcomes compared to other social groups. Contributing to these disparities in Oregon are the state’s historically deep-rooted racism and structural inequalities. Our project investigates racial and ethnic health disparities in Oregon, including those that have impacted BIPOC communities during the Coronavirus pandemic. Using available secondary data sources (e.g., at Oregon Health Authority), and focusing on population-level health indictors (e.g., chronic disease morbidity, self-perceived health ratings, and COVID health outcomes), we document these racial and ethnic disparities in health. Additionally, we use qualitative data from primary data sources (interviews and questionnaires), with Lane County residents to further examine the impact of racial discrimination on lived experiences of health. Our study highlights how experiences with racism put the BIPOC community at a health disadvantage. We aim to publicize these disparities through shared infographics in hopes of alleviating this burden for BIPOC individuals by sharing ideas for public action.

Caroline Doyle Weight-Related Teasing Associated with Loneliness and Depressive Symptoms in Rural Oregon Children 
Weight-related teasing (WRT) is a prevalent and pervasive consequence of weight stigma. Experiences with WRT in childhood contribute to adverse long-term physical and mental health outcomes. However, few studies have examined how WRT is associated with psychological well-being in youth, particularly those living in rural communities. The purpose of this study was to examine the link between WRT with depressive symptoms and loneliness in rural Oregon youth. It was hypothesized that higher composite scores including both frequency of and distress related to WRT would be significantly and positively associated with depressive symptoms and loneliness in children. Further, it was hypothesized that gender and body appreciation would moderate these associations, such that the association would be exacerbated among girls and buffered among those with high levels of appreciation for their body. 75 children living in rural Oregon completed fasting anthropometric measurements and surveys measuring demographic information, WRT frequency and distress, depressive symptoms, loneliness, and body appreciation. WRT was significantly and positively associated with loneliness but not with depressive symptoms. Neither gender nor body appreciation moderated these associations. Independently, body appreciation was significantly and inversely related with both depressive and loneliness. These data support ongoing efforts to intervene with and reduce WRT, and promote youth body appreciation.

Mikala Capage, Rachel Conner, Dimitra Fellman, Marlee Odell, Idil Osman Rebound and Resurgent Malaria Globally: Explanations and Under-estimations via a Meta-Review 
Over the past century considerable efforts have been put forth to eliminate malaria. Such attempts have proved fragile, with many gains and successes followed by a resurgence of malaria cases. In 2012, Cohen et al. published the first systematic review of malaria resurgence events globally, and concluded that most failures were the result of pull-backs in funding for elimination programs. While this publication was an excellent first step, it provides a narrow scope and definition of resurgence that fails to capture potential events or address the ethical implications of resurgence. This research both replicates and expands on Cohen et al.’s work by providing a more nuanced investigation of the concepts, causes and consequences of resurgence. This meta-review added social science and primary archival sources, broadened Cohen et al.'s definition of resurgence, including events reported for only one year, and discuss ethical implications of resurgence. Our preliminary results captured 117 resurgences over 160 years. Our work also found that terms used to describe resurgence are not clearly delineated in malaria literature, descriptions of resurgences are often vague, and causes of resurgence are not as straight-forward or categorical as they appear in the work of Cohen et al. These findings call for expanded research into resurgence, as well as how it is conceptualized and reported.

Paola Sanchez (Visiting McNair Scholar, Boston College) Evaluating the Impact of Climate Change and water scarcity on Chronic Kidney Disease in El Salvador 
In rural communities of El Salvador and Guatemala, poverty lies rampant. The majority of the population in such communities rely on farming in order to provide for themselves and their family. Recently, a lot of attention has garnered around a perplexing problem- an increase in the prevalence of Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology that is affecting farmers and rural workers in a disproportionate amount. This problem can have grave implications on the economic and social life of El Salvador. Similarly, the rural communities most at risk for such renal insufficiency in Guatemala are indigenous people who suffer from the adverse effects of climate change and water privatization that prevents them from accessing their own resources.
This study will analyze some of the most interesting hypotheses regarding the rise in Chronic Kidney Diseases in El Salvador and Guatemala- namely, climate change and water scarcity in rural areas. By synthesizing these two hypotheses, the research will be able to provide justification for the new phenomenon of “climate refugees.” Because climate change plays a huge role on immigration, analyzing its impact on Global Health is key to understanding the magnitude of the effects that Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology can have on these vulnerable communities.

Jyhreh Johnson Quantifying Cranial Shape Change with Age in Adult Modern Humans 
Skeletal ontogenetic changes in shape have been closely examined and researched in modern humans during the prenatal to subadult stages of development. However cranial shape changes during adulthood are less notable and studied. This thesis used 35 three-dimensional landmarks from 13 cranial specimens of known age to estimate shape changes associated with age. Since research on this topic is less well known I hypothesized that the human cranium does undergo shape change during adulthood and that these changes will provide more information on cranial ontogeny. Three-dimensional surface models of the superior and inferior portions of crania were created by photogrammetry using Agisoft Photoscan. Geomagic Control was used to unite these parts into a single 3D model of each specimen. The 35 craniometric landmarks were digitized using Landmark Editor. The landmarks were superimposed through a Generalized Procrustes Analysis in MorphoJ. Variations due to size, position, and orientation were removed from the data leaving the variable of shape for each specimen. The resulting 13 configurations of Procrustes coordinates were regressed against chronological age. Results of the regression analysis demonstrated a correlation between cranial shape with age. Age has a subtle effect on cranial shape that accounts for approximately 5.7% of shape variance. Though minimal, as the cranium ages the position of the zygomaxillare anterior narrows resulting in a hollowed look to the facial region.

Thursday May 27, 2021 9:00am - 10:30am PDT