Education Policies and Health

National, state, and local education policies, as well as the characteristics of school districts and schools, impact students’ educational and economic outcomes. Our research examines how these factors also affect students’ physical and mental health, evaluating policies and interventions that may lead to more equitable short- and long-term health for students.


Leveraging a Natural Experiment to Estimate the Effects of School Racial Segregation on Cardiovascular Risk Factors among Youth and Young Adults

Cardiovascular disease risk factors disproportionately affect Black adults, and these disparities are evident early in the life course. One possible explanation for racial disparities in heart disease is that Black youth often attend highly racially segregated schools, which may limit economic opportunities and increase discrimination and stress. This research aims to examine the short-term and long-term effects of school racial segregation on risk factors for heart disease. We will also assess whether specific subgroups may be more vulnerable to school segregation. This will inform the development of social and health policies and school-based interventions to address Black-White disparities in heart disease.

Funding:   NHLBI R01; Research Evaluation and Allocation Committee and Huntington Fund at UCSF

Recent Publications:

Assessing the Impact of Educational Interventions on Reducing Disparities in Hypertension and Related Biomarkers

Improving our understanding of social factors that reduce hypertension among high-risk subgroups is a critical step in reducing disparities in cardiovascular disease. Our work examines the effects of policies that increase the duration and quality of education on hypertension and other cardiovascular risk factors and outcomes in the general population. This research has the potential to inform future societal strategies to reduce hypertension among high-risk subgroups and improve cardiovascular disease disparities.

Funding: NHLBI K08NHLBI R01; Research Evaluation and Allocation Committee and Huntington Fund at UCSF

Recent Publications: