Friday Forum Offers Health Perspective

Michal Melamed, M.D.
Michal Melamed, M.D.

On Friday, June 22, 2013, Dr. Michal Melamed, associate professor of medicine and of epidemiology & population health, presented "Vitamin D and Racial Differences in Health Outcomes," during a Friday Forum offered by Einstein's Hispanic Center and its Bronx Center to Reduce and Eliminate Ethnic and Racial Health Disparities.

Dr. Melamed discussed her research and findings about vitamin D and kidney disease, including details regarding the importance of monitoring kidney health and Vitamin D's role in maintaining healthy kidneys.

Dr. Melamed's interest in studying Vitamin D and kidney health arose from research she conducted of vitamin D use among dialysis patients, where she found that those who received vitamin D therapy tended to live longer than those who did not. That research led her to evaluate whether vitamin D levels were associated with mortality in the general population; she found it to be so, using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Again using NHANES, Dr. Melamed went on to show an association between low vitamin D levels and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) requiring dialysis.  Dr. Melamed summed up her talk by noting the importance of educating the community about kidney health and Vitamin D.

More than 25 individuals, including faculty and staff from Einstein and Montefiore Medical Center, and students taking part in the Hispanic Center's Summer Undergraduate Mentorship Program attended the session. Dr. Hal Strelnick, assistant dean for community engagement and professor of clinical family & social medicine, opened the session, welcoming guests and introducing Dr. Melamed. He also invited the attendees to consider presenting their own work at future monthly forums.

The Friday Forum meets on the third Friday of each month. They are designed to share research and other Einstein-Montefiore projects of interest with members of the Bronx community. In addition to Dr. Melamed' s talk, recent Friday Forum presentations have covered developing  community-based research and conducting randomized clinical trials of a primary care breastfeeding promotion intervention.

The Friday Forums will resume in the fall.


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