Research Mentor(s): Stephanie Cook, Assistant Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Departments of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Biostatistics, New York University’s College of Global Public Health
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 5 (3pm-3:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 10
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains a leading cause of death for men in the United States. This is in part due to stress and substance use being closely associated with early risk factors of CVD prevalence. While little research exists on potential protective factors against the negative effects of stress, one possible mechanism that may mitigate the effects of stress exposure is social support. This cross-sectional study seeks to examine the association between physiological stress, substance use, and Carotid Intima-Media Thickness (CIMT). Approximately 50 participants, comprising of young sexual minority men (YSMM) between the ages of 18-35 years old, will be enrolled where these participants will have to fill out an online survey, providing information on stress and experiences of discrimination in childhood stress , adulthood stress, substance use behaviors, and current PSS. Participants will also be asked to take part in a non-invasive ultrasound to obtain CIMT measurements to evaluate possible signs of pre-clinical CVD. In addition, participants will be asked to provide saliva samples to measure salivary cortisol. At this current time, our project has not been able to produce results, however the investigation team hypothesize that YSMM that experienced higher in discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or racial/ethnic identity will have higher cIMT measurements than those lower in discrimination. The final conclusions and implications of this study might provide increased knowledge to the scientific community and clinical practice when it comes to understanding of CVD risk factors.