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Research on housing discrimination impacts on cancer care wins $100K investment

CohnReznick, a national accounting firm with offices in Baltimore and Bethesda, is the first corporate partner to invest in an American Cancer Society-led research project that examines housing discrimination’s impact on cancer care.

This company’s $100,000 investment will support the ACS’ new Systemic and Biologic Impact of Housing Discrimination on Cancer Risk project.

Expected to launch in early 2022, this four-year research project will be led by Alpa Patel, Ph.D., senior vice president-population science at ACS, and study how various aspects of neighborhood environments (walkability, availability of fresh fruits/vegetables, air pollution, etc.) drive expected associations between housing discrimination and cancer.

The Systemic and Biologic Impact of Housing Discrimination on Cancer Risk will use data and blood samples from a diverse study population of about 300,000 participants across the country to assess whether living in areas affected by housing discrimination is associated with a higher risk of cancer and whether factors such as cancer screening frequency, aspects of lifestyle related to physical activity, dietary behaviors, smoking, and alcohol consumption, as well as area-level factors such as the availability of green space and access to healthy food options explain these disparities.

Using entirely new and groundbreaking science, this study will also seek to prove that individuals who live in these areas have cancer-related biologic changes to the DNA as a result of where they live.