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CDC Network Adds Two More Prevention Research Centers

March 1, 2010

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced funding for two additional Prevention Research Centers (PRCs), extending the program’s reach to 37 centers in 27 states.

PRCs at the University of Iowa and the University of Pittsburgh will rejoin the PRC program to conduct community-based research with local neighborhood groups, state and local health departments, and other partners to find ways to address pressing public health needs.

"Older people represent a significant—and growing—portion of the American population,” said Eduardo J. Simoes, MD, MSc, MPH, director of the PRC Program. “This growth makes it increasingly important to find new ways to help everyone stay healthy as they get older. Adding two PRCs to the network means more researchers and communities will work with CDC to develop the strategies that help people avoid heart disease, diabetes, and other serious illnesses.”

In April 2009, CDC announced that 35 PRCs would receive a combined sum of more than $25 million for the first year of a five-year cycle. An independent peer-review group had ranked each center’s ability to conduct the research its staff proposed, and the funding was awarded to the highest-scoring PRCs. Funds are now available for the centers that had the next two highest scores of the remaining applicants not yet funded. Each center will receive approximately $790,000 for the first year of the funding period.

The University of Pittsburgh Center for Healthy Aging works with communities in southwestern Pennsylvania, studying the best ways to help residents focus on 10 critical health factors: controlling blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar; getting cancer screenings, adequate physical activity, timely immunizations, and meaningful social involvement; and avoiding depression, bone loss, and muscle weakness. Benefits include significantly reducing the risk for heart disease—the leading cause of death in the United States today—and other serious health risks.

Researchers at the University of Iowa Prevention Research Center for Rural Health work with community partners to improve nutrition, physical activity, and healthy aging in rural Iowa and other Midwest populations living with scant health resources and recent flood damage. The researchers reported that in the last 10 years, the number of overweight and obese Iowa residents increased by 36 percent and cases of diabetes are also rising. Because campaigns that promote healthy habits among urban groups may not be effective in rural communities, the PRC staff and community partners are developing strategies that focus specifically on rural residents.

For more information on the Prevention Research Centers, please visit the CDC’s Web site at


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