Purdue West Lafayette Students Present Posters at Professional Meetings

Hannah Bard, under the supervision of Dr. Ellen Wells, presented “Comparing Demographics Between Blackford County Residents and Research Study Participants.” The abstract of this poster is as follows:
Our team conducted a study about metal contamination and health among adults in Hartford City, Indiana. The objective of this analysis is to compare demographics between Blackford County residents and study participants to determine if our study population reflects the actual population of Hartford City and Blackford County, Indiana. This cross-sectional study recruited participants using posters, announcements through community partners, and door- to-door canvassing. Data were collected from May through December 2002 using an online survey which could be filled out by the participant alone or with assistance from study staff. There were 245 participants that provided full data on their gender, age and race. Study data were compared with data from the U.S. Census Bureau via the STATS Indiana website. Data were managed and analyzed with Microsoft Excel. Analysis included descriptive statistical analysis, and comparisons used Student’s t-tests and Chi- square tests. Our study participants were 62.7% were female and 37.3% were male. Blackford County has a smaller proportion of women, with 50.6% female. In 2021, Hartford City’s population was 6,067 people and Blackford county’s population was 12,091 people. Thus, our study population was approximately 4.02% of the Hartford City population, and 2.02% of the Blackford County population. The Hartford City study median age (59 years) was higher than the overall county’s median age (43.6 years). Initial results suggest our study population has more females and is older than the entire population. Analyses are ongoing. The results will help us understand how representative our study population reflects Blackford County.

Rebecca Eyrick and Sharon Kulali, under the supervision of Dr. Ellen Wells, presented “Self-Reported Health Concerns among Adults in Hartford City, Indiana.” Eyrick and Kulali are students in the School of Health Sciences in the Department of Public Health at Purdue West Lafayette. This is the abstract of the poster:

Metal recycling plants may release environmental contaminants (air pollutants and heavy metals) into nearby communities. The citizens of Hartford City raised concerns about a local metal recycling plant and a variety of health concerns. As a first step to address these concerns, the goal for this analysis was to evaluate self-reported health indicators in adults from Hartford City. We completed a cross-sectional study of Hartford City adults (≥18 years old) in 2022. Participants completed a questionnaire regarding their demographic characteristics and health status and concerns. Data was available for 283 participants. Stata 17.0 was used to perform statistical analyses. The majority of participants were female (61.8%), White (96.1%), not Hispanic or Latino (98.6%), married (52.1%), and had an Associate’s degree (44.0%).  Their mean age was 56 years (SEM: 1.1) Most participants indicated that their mental (91.2%) and physical health (80.6%) were “about the same” or “better” in the past 12 months. 22.8% of participants indicated that had had at least one cancer in their lifetime, 47.3% had been diagnosed with hypertension, 42.8% had allergies, and 42.0% had high cholesterol. The highest concerns for citizens of Hartford City were cancer (29.3%), drug use (27.9%), and water quality (20.1%).  Other highlighted concerns were air quality, soil quality, poverty, and obesity. Additional analyses to determine correlations of demographic characteristics with health outcomes are ongoing. These results contribute to our understanding of the health concerns among Hartford City adults.

by Victoria Hoffman and Megan Peek