Risk Assessment In Older Minority Survivors (RAISe)


This study addresses important health concerns associated with aging: sarcopenia, bone disease and increased central adiposity (abdominal fat). Aging cancer survivors are a large and growing sector of the US population. The combination of chronic diseases, rising incidence of cancer and the long-term residual effects from cancer therapies have created a group of survivors with unprecedented health needs. Breast cancer is particularly problematic, in that, treatment creates an accelerated aging process promoting weight gain with a concomitant loss of muscle mass; a concept known as sarcopenic obesity. This condition is associated with functional decline, lowered quality of life (QOL), fatigue and chronic disease development, but has not yet been explored in African-American survivors. African-American women, a poorly represented group in breast cancer research efforts, are more likely to be obese and diagnosed with breast cancer at younger ages; thus compounding their risks for sarcopenic obesity, bone disease, increased central adiposity and their adverse effects. Additionally, African-American women with breast cancer are more likely than other women with breast cancer to die from co-morbid conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. To further understand this disparity, we propose to extend the methodologies of a federally-funded behavioral weight loss trial to examine body composition (sarcopenia and central adiposity), bone disease and risks for heart disease and diabetes. These concepts are not presently addressed in the parent RCT conferring important, potentially modifiable risks in aging minority women seeking to improve their health. Multiple chronic conditions and aging survivors are current priorities of the NIA and the NCI’s Office of Cancer Survivorship.

Findings from our study will provide foundational evidence for establishing: 1) the prevalence of sarcopenia and its relationship with bone disease, fatigue and QOL; 2) the prevalence of bone disease and risks for future fracture, and 3) the relationship between abdominal fat and risk for heart disease and diabetes among African-American breast cancer survivors in support of a K award application for the PI. Ultimately, this study represents the first step in a research trajectory that will address the unique health needs of aging minority cancer survivors, a population that has received minimal attention to date.

Principal investigator
Funding Agency

National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health through the Midwest Roybal Center for Health Promotion and Translation.


Carol Braunschweig, PhD, RD
Melinda Stolley, PhD
Karen L. Troy, PhD

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