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SLU hosts forum on minority health

(via Flickr/Jennifer_Boriss)

Saint Louis University is hosting a forum on Tuesday about the public health issues facing minorities, in particular African Americans.

A panel of local academics from SLU and Washington University will present their research on topics ranging from maternal health to how segregation affects health literacy.

SLU community health expert Keon Gilbert will talk about the relationship of education to health outcomes in young African American men at risk of dropping out of high school.

He says the forum will highlight work that St. Louis-based researchers have carried out here and in minority communities in other parts of the country.

"It may be able to open up some conversations of how the work that we have done in other places in the U.S. might be applied here in St. Louis," Gilbert said.

Washington University public health expert Darrell Hudson says he plans to talk about how for African Americans, improved socioeconomic status may increase the risk of depression.

"There is some evidence that there are costs of upward mobility in the form of racial discrimination and things like that, that could potentially undermine some of the benefits of increased social class, and increase people's susceptibility to developing a mental disorder, particularly depression," Hudson said.

The forum is sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It starts at 3 p.m. in the Saint Louis University Medical Center's Learning Resources Center Auditorium.