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GREMAP is an interdisciplinary research team focused on understanding the interrelationships between mental and physical health in later life. As noted by the Lancet in 2007, as well as by Dr. Tom Insel, the former director of the National Institute of Mental Health: There is no health without mental health.

Depression, anxiety, and feelings of emotional distress are now recognized as important contributors to medical morbidity and disability throughout the life course. Social and contextual factors also impact mental and physical health, and disparities in health, over the lifespan. The goal of GREMAP is to conduct innovative public health research that embodies a transdisciplinary, integrative, multi-level approach to understanding the determinants of health over the life course.

A key strength of GREMAP is the interdisciplinary nature of our team. Faculty and students trained in epidemiology, psychology, community health, and social work all contribute to papers and projects. We also have active collaborations with faculty and students at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research and the Center for Integrative Approaches to Health Disparities, the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, and the Centre for Primary Health Care Research at Lund University in Sweden.

Some current research projects include:

  • The Richmond Stress and Sugar Study, a longitudinal cohort study of the role of stress exposure and reactivity on disparities in type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • A longitudinal analysis of the interrelationships between depression and frailty in later life using data from the Health and Retirement Study
  • The Mood and Immune Regulation in Twins Study, a longitudinal pilot examining the role of inflammation as a mediator between depression and diabetes using a genetically-informed design
  • An investigation of the role of contextual factors (e.g., residential segregation, food access, area-level poverty) on risk of depression and diabetes among in Sweden
  • A quasi-experimental study of the role of residential housing policy changes and risk of drug abuse among immigrants in Sweden
  • A mixed-methods investigation of the relationship between residential long-term care settings (i.e., nursing homes, assisted living facilities) and completed suicide using data from the National Violent Death Reporting System
  • A community-engaged research partnership with the YMCA of Greater Richmond to evaluate a community-oriented diabetes self-management program using the RE-AIM (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance) framework of translational science