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HealthPartners Institute gets $2.45 million grant to study whether childhood stress and heart health are connected

September 8, 2017

How does early childhood stress affect health? HealthPartners Institute received a $2.45 million dollar grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to study how stress in early childhood impacts children’s heart health. The work ties closely with HealthPartners Children’s Health and Health Equity Initiatives.

Principal investigator Alicia Kunin-Batson, PhD and a team of investigators will collaborate with researchers at the University of Minnesota. They will look at the biological and behavioral pathways through which stress in children’s environments contribute to health problems. They are monitoring a group of racially/ethnically diverse, low income children, as well as factors that protect children from the impact of stress on health.

The investigators expect that this work will advance prevention science by helping to identify and refine intervention targets for preventing heart disease, and diabetes.

“My hope is that we can really start to identify possible targets for intervention so that we can put the kids on a path towards good health,” HealthPartners principal investigator Alicia Kunin-Batson, PhD.

About HealthPartners Institute

HealthPartners Institute is part of HealthPartners, the largest consumer-governed, non-profit health care organization in the nation with a mission to improve health and well-being in partnership with members, patients and the community. One of the largest medical research and education centers in the Midwest, the Institute has about 450 studies underway each year, trains more than 500 medical residents and fellows and more than 500 students, and provides continuing medical education for 25,000 clinicians as well as patient education and clinical quality improvement. For more information, visit

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