CU Population Center

Institute of Behavioral Science

Rural-Urban Differences in Polygenic Associations for Health and Health Behaviors

Principal Investigator: Jason Boardman

Funder: NIA (1R03AG080244-01A1)

CUPC rapid response grant recipient

This project examines the intersection between social and genetic factors and how they influence differences in cardiovascular health among residents of rural and urban areas in the United States. Rural areas tend to have far greater public health challenges than urban areas, leading to rural life expectancies that are 2.3 years lower for rural compared to urban women and 3.3 years lower for rural compared to urban men. Using longitudinal data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, this project will shed new light on these disparities and broaden our understanding of “the environment” within gene-environment interaction research. The findings from this work provide critical insight for population health policy, given the importance of understanding the fundamental and complex origins of health challenges, be they social or biological, or a combination of both.