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Adventist Health Study-2 awarded $5.5 million from National Institutes of Health

Grant will fund ongoing cancer research in landmark study

Adventist Health Study-2 awarded $5.5 million from National Institutes of Health

Dr. Gary Fraser is principal investigator of the Adventist Health Study-2. [ANN file photo]

The United States' National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Loma Linda University's Adventist Health Study-2 a $5.5 million grant over the next five years, which will allow the study to continue its analysis on cancer and other lifestyle diseases. The award was announced July 27.

"This will not only allow us to conduct our ongoing functions, but to conduct them more efficiently, and to begin analysis on projects we have had to shelf," said Dr. Gary Fraser, principal investigator of the study.

Adventist Health Study-2 is a long-term health study of more than 96,000 Seventh-day Adventists from the United States and Canada. The study began in 2002 with the purpose of examining the links between lifestyle, diet, and disease.

The study has operated without NIH funds for the past three years, but it has received other funds and grants, as well as significant support from Loma Linda University. The new funds come from the National Cancer Institute, a division within NIH, and will be used for analysis of cancer. This means funds the university had previously lined up for cancer can now be diverted to other areas the study is examining, as well as in support of new researchers.

Though the study is in the beginning stages of analysis, it has had several key findings so far, which include: linking a vegetarian diet to a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes; linking a high consumption of brown rice, cooked green vegetables, dried fruit, and legumes to a lower risk of colon polyps, a precursor to colon cancer; and revealing that black and non-black Adventists report a higher mental and physical quality of life than the average American.

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