Solutions Network researcher funded to study cardiovascular disease risk in children

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes over 30 percent of all deaths in the U.S. and its roots can be found even in children. Hannah Schreier, Child Maltreatment Solutions Network co-funded faculty member and assistant professor of biobehavioral health, was recently awarded a grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to study the potential effect of a coparenting interventions to reduce CVD risk markers in children.

The project will build on the existing Family Foundations project, a perinatal intervention focused on coparenting developed by Mark Feinberg, research professor of health and human development in the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Center. Schreier’s recently funded grant aims to examine the psychosocial pathways within families that influence child and parent CVD risk as well as potential intervention effects of the Family Foundations program on CVD risk.

To do so, the researchers will conduct home visits with approximately 294 families across the country and collect data via questionnaires and family interactions. Additionally, researchers will collect baseline blood pressure and dried blood spot samples for the assessment of metabolic and inflammatory CVD risk markers from all family members.

According to Schreier, the project has the potential to increase our knowledge of how the psychosocial family environment influences CVD risk and whether a psychosocial intervention can reduce these risks. “By examining the moderating role of lifetime adversity and socioeconomic status, we will be able to inform future intervention research to unlock the potential of such interventions to reduce socioeconomic CVD disparities.”