2015 Writing Contest Winners...
HJM&PH 2015 Contest Winners
2015 Undergraduate Contest Winner
Kyle Obana is a junior Biology and Psychology double major at Amherst College. In 2015, he worked as a summer research intern with the Department of Native Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawai‘i under the mentorship of James Davis, PhD, Associate Professor in Biostatistics & Quantitative Health Sciences. He was recently awarded the Kauffman Fellowship in Biomedical Research and will be conducting research in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in the summer of 2016.
His winning manuscript is entitled, "Racial Disparities in the Prevalence of Arthritis among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, Whites, and Asians." Health disparities in Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (NHOPI) are well established for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, but less is known about disparities in arthritis.This study examined disparities in the prevalence of arthritis by age, sex, and severity utilizing data on 6,735 Hawai‘i adults who participated in the 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey. Findings from this study indicate that NHOPI adult males have a significantly higher prevalence of arthritis than White and Asian adult males in all age groups, and arthritis in this population peaks twenty years earlier. The average age at diagnosis of arthritis in NHOPI was also significantly lower than Whites and Asians. Future research into potential causal relationships and specific types of arthritis through longitudinal studies are warranted.
2015 Graduate Contest Winner
Katherine Braden holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology, magna cum laude, from the University of San Diego. She is a Master of Public Health student with a specialization in Social and Behavioral Health Sciences, graduating from the University of Hawai‘i's Office of Public Health Studies in May 2016. Her research and professional interests include physical activity and nutrition, childhood obesity, socioeconomic determinants of health and health equity, public health evaluation, and public health workforce development.
Her winning manuscript, "Modifiable Determinants of Obesity in Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Youth," is a systematic literature review that assesses the existing body of research on modifiable determinants and correlates of obesity in Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (NHOPI) youth. Mentored by faculty advisor Claudio Nigg, PhD, this research reviewed articles published between 2000 and 2015 in PubMed, with additional expert recommended articles identified through the Hawai‘i Initiative for Childhood Obesity Research and Education (HICORE) research database. Findings from this review indicate that early life and contextual factors– namely, infant feeding mode, geographic location, and education- appear to play an important role in obesity in NHOPI. However, more research is needed, particularly pre-birth cohort studies evaluating the effects of prenatal and early life risk factors, studies on the sociocultural influences on obesity-related psychosocial factors and health behaviors, as well as the influence of environmental and policy-level variables.