Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationIllinois, Urbana, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9546
Approve DateOctober 11, 2017
Project TitleLee, Katharine M., U. of Illinois, Urbana, IL - To aid research on 'Life History Tradeoffs Affecting Bone Maintenance and Development in Premenopausal Polish and Polish-American Women,' supervised by Dr. Kathryn Clancy
KATHARINE M. LEE, then a graduate student at University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, was awarded a grant in October 2017 to aid research on “Life History Tradeoffs Affecting Bone Maintenance and Development in Premenopausal Polish and Polish-American Women,” supervised by Dr. Kathryn Clancy. This project compares bone density and markers of bone turnover in rural Polish women and urban Polish-American women. Lifestyle factors such as physical activity affect bone through multiple pathways during the life span. This research uses inter- and intra-population comparisons to understand how life history and lifestyle factors independently and interactively contribute to bone health. Previous work at the Mogielica Human Ecology Study Site in rural Poland demonstrated that women in this region have a later age at menarche, lower circulating reproductive hormones, and higher physical activity levels than in the US. Understanding bone health in women as both a function of earlier life experiences — as well as a reflection of current reproductive status and physical activity patterns — will distinguish the key factors that explain variation in bone properties and health. This research is among the first to combine markers of bone turnover with measures of bone density at both locomotor and non-locomotor sites to understand how bone varies with age, physical activity, and life history. Integrating life history traits, biological measurements of current reproductive and bone-related status, and current nutrition and physical activity habits allows us to understand bone health as a function of biological and cultural contexts.