University of Pittsburgh
November 17, 2002

University of Pittsburgh Releases Book of "Black Papers" Study Examines Health of Region's African Americans

Contact:  412-624-4147

November 18, 2002

PITTSBURGH—A University of Pittsburgh study examining the health status of local African Americans was unveiled in a book titled "Black Papers on African American Health in Allegheny County," during a news conference today.

The book comprises three papers Pitt's University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR) developed last year for the Urban League of Pittsburgh, Inc.

Among those commenting on the importance and usefulness of the book were Esther L. Bush, president and CEO of the Urban League; Stephen Thomas, Philip Hallen Professor of Community Health and Social Justice and director of Pitt's Center for Minority Health; principal investigators Ralph Bangs, research associate in UCSUR, and Kenneth Thompson, associate professor of psychiatry and Soros Foundation Physician Advocate Fellow; Tracey Conti, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine in the School of Medicine; and Bruce Dixon, director of the Allegheny County Health Department.

The first report, The Health Status of African Americans in Allegheny County, documents the leading causes of death of African American men and women. The paper also examines the rates of infant mortality, of injuries and fatalities attributed to firearms, and of sexually transmitted diseases (STD).

The second report, Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among African Americans in Allegheny County, analyzes STD conditions and trends in the county, while examining behavioral intervention programs effective in reducing the rate of STD infection in the United States. A third section of the report identifies the core elements of an effective STD surveillance and prevention system.

The final report, Health Problems Among African American Women Ages 35-64 in Allegheny County, looks at the leading chronic and acute diseases related to morbidity and mortality among that group of women.

The project was funded by the Birmingham Foundation, Jewish Healthcare Foundation, UPMC Department of Community Initiatives, and the University of Pittsburgh.

For more information about "Black Papers on African American Health in Allegheny County," call 412-624-3856.