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Posted on Mon, Oct 1, 2012 : 12:39 p.m.

$2.7M grant renewed for Detroit African American health research by University of Michigan, Wayne State University

By Amy Biolchini

The National Institute of Health has renewed a $2.7 million grant for research at the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research, a joint partnership between Wayne State University and the University of Michigan.

The funding will extend the center’s research into 2017, and is the fourth time NIH has renewed the five-year grant for the center.

The Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research is one of seven organizations across the country that work to improve the health of older minority groups through education, scholarships and research participation.

Specifically, the center studies why older urban African Americans have higher rates of diabetes, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure and incidences of specific kinds of cancer than their Caucasian counterparts.

Part of the research includes a database of 1,685 African Americans living in the Detroit area who have volunteered to be a part of research projects conducted by the center.

The center also provides free health screenings and hosts community forums to educate its members about preventable diseases.

“For 15 years, we have partnered with older adults to promote healthier aging,” according to a statement from Peter Lichtenberg, director of the Wayne State University Institute of Gerontology and co-director of the center. “With this grant, we continue strengthening scholarship and focusing on the health and education needs of Detroit’s elders. It takes time to make a difference that will last.”

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.