University of Alabama at Birmingham
Dr. Bertha Hidalgo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Associate Scientist in the Nutrition Obesity Research Center, and Scholar of the Center for Community Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her research focuses health disparities related to cardiometabolic diseases, with a special focus on Latino populations and epigenomics. She has received research funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Connections Program to investigate whether differences exist between subgroups of Latinos for cardiometabolic diseases (e.g. obesity, cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes) by first investigating differences in subgroups of Latino children and obesity in an epidemiologic study. She also received the 2014 UAB Back of the Envelope award to create a multi-ethnic biorepository for cardiometabolic diseases.
Dr. Hidalgo obtained her BA in Human Biology from Stanford University, MPH from the University of Southern California, and PhD from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Statistical Genetics in the Section on Statistical Genetics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Background and Literature Review: To date, many epidemiological studies have not differentiated between subgroups of Latinos in disease association studies. There is much to understand about the nuances inherent to the different subgroups and whether differences in disease outcomes exist, including differences in childhood obesity.
Specific Aims: 1) To perform a systematic review of the literature to comprehensively characterize the prevalence of non-Latino subgroup differentiation in studies of obesity among children living in the US. 2) To use nationally representative data to assess disparities in obesity across different subgroups of Latino children living in the US.
Conceptual Model: Failure to consider Latino subgroups in racial/ethnic analyses contributes to residual confounding and therefore biased results.
Methods: A systematic review of the literature to assess prevalence of Latino subgroup non-distinction and secondary data analysis of NHIS data will be performed.
My New Connections Experience
When I applied to New Connections, I was finishing up my second year of post-doc and was gearing up to transition to a faculty position. I felt prepared to tackle my own project and initiate my own research, so I took a chance and applied. I’m so glad I did! It has literally changed everything. The grant facilitated my current faculty position. It also allowed me to create my own research agenda, create new directions for my research, and has given me credibility in research and led to many new collaborations.
- New Connections Status: Junior Investigator
- Award Year: 2014
- RWJF Team/Portfolio: Vulnerable Populations
- Project Name: Epidemiological Assessment of Disparities in Childhood Obesity across Latino Subgroups in the US.