Aryana Sepassi

Early Career Tenure-track Researcher, University of California, Irvine

4 active projects

DIVERS

Immunizations are one of the most important and effective preventative health measures available, but relative to public health goals, are underutilized in adults. Developing a better understanding of how vaccines are used positions us to develop strategies to mitigate modifiable…

Scientific Questions Being Studied

Immunizations are one of the most important and effective preventative health measures available, but relative to public health goals, are underutilized in adults. Developing a better understanding of how vaccines are used positions us to develop strategies to mitigate modifiable risk factors and improve vaccination rates. Results from our study will address a knowledge gap in understanding data characteristics available in the All of Us dataset for patients who have received one or more vaccine(s). Results from this study is intended to provide us with stronger justification for access to medical and pharmacy claims data to develop prediction models on which variables have the highest amplitude of impact.

Project Purpose(s)

  • Disease Focused Research (Baseline analysis of the population with documented vaccination record.)
  • Population Health
  • Social / Behavioral

Scientific Approaches

The All of Us database will be used as a source population for a convenience sample in this cross-sectional study to characterize the sociodemographic, health-related and lifestyle characteristics of adults who receive single and/or multiple types of vaccines in addition to health and lifestyle choices. Data on a cohort of patients who received vaccine doses during a period of time that may vary depending on the indicated use of each vaccine will collected from the All of Us database and reviewed for trends. These categories of factors will also be used to compare groups of participants who completed the hepatitis B and HPV vaccine series with those who started, but did not complete these vaccine series. Descriptive statistics, correlations and cross-tabulation will be used to describe specific differences in racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, gender-based, and health- and lifestyle-related determinants of the use of vaccines in patients included in this unique database.

Anticipated Findings

This proposed study provides a cross-sectional evaluation of the All of Us program data to develop a baseline understanding of the relevant and available vaccination data. Most existing literature describing adult vaccination rates are based on self-reports and few focus on multiple vaccines with correlating health data. Comprehensive data regarding vaccination rates exist, but lack investigation to specific lifestyle, health, and sociodemographic characteristics. More importantly descriptions of vaccine studies have been mainly limited to individual vaccine types. Developing a baseline assessment of individuals who have vaccine data included in the All of Us program will provide insights into which characteristics are modifiable as well as a description of the data available. This is intended to serve as a starting point for future research endeavors.

Demographic Categories of Interest

This study will not center on underrepresented populations.

Data Set Used

Registered Tier

Research Team

Owner:

  • Stanley Jia - Undergraduate Student, University of California, Irvine
  • Kevin Zhang - Undergraduate Student, University of California, Irvine
  • Ding Quan Ng - Graduate Trainee, University of California, Irvine
  • Aryana Sepassi - Early Career Tenure-track Researcher, University of California, Irvine
  • Alexandre Chan - Late Career Tenured Researcher, University of California, Irvine

Collaborators:

  • Keri Hurley-Kim - Other, University of California, Irvine

Health Literacy Disparities: Immigrant vs US Born Cancer Patients

Published research to date on health literacy and it's downstream effects on clinical outcomes has been able to highlight disparities in proficiency between minority populations and non-minority populations within the US. However, these studies have not accounted for nuanced differences…

Scientific Questions Being Studied

Published research to date on health literacy and it's downstream effects on clinical outcomes has been able to highlight disparities in proficiency between minority populations and non-minority populations within the US. However, these studies have not accounted for nuanced differences between immigrant minority populations and US born minority populations; as English proficiency is a predictor of health literacy proficiency, it is important to examine this in the context of immigrant vs US born minorities, especially when considering disease states that may require a higher level of proficiency, such as cancer. Therefore, we seek to understand differences in health literacy proficiency between US born and immigrant minorities with a cancer diagnosis prior to their health literacy screening.

Project Purpose(s)

  • Population Health

Scientific Approaches

We aim to examine responses to the three health literacy survey questions administered to All of Us participants between participants who report being born in the US and those who did not. The population will further be limited to those not replying as "White/Caucasian" on the "Basics" survey (Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino). To identify participants with a cancer diagnosis, we will flag participants who had any SNOMED code related to a neoplasm up to four years prior to the health literacy questionnaire date. We will use the online Jupyter platform in R to examine differences in HL responses between the two groups, and for differences in responses to health resource utilization questions.

Anticipated Findings

We anticipate that the differences in health literacy between immigrant and US born minorities will be dependent on the type of minority studied. We hypothesize that immigrants of Asian or Hispanic/Latino descent may reply with worse health literacy responses compared to their US-born counterparts, but we expect that these differences would be reversed in the case of Black or African American participants.

We expect that our findings will illuminate nuanced differences among subgroups of minorities to better target policymaking and interventions aimed to improve health literacy among patients reporting as minorities.

Demographic Categories of Interest

  • Race / Ethnicity

Data Set Used

Registered Tier

Research Team

Owner:

  • Aryana Sepassi - Early Career Tenure-track Researcher, University of California, Irvine

Collaborators:

  • Chuong Vu - Undergraduate Student, University of California, Irvine
  • Nhat Dao - Undergraduate Student, University of California, Irvine

Metformin Vitamin B12 Study

Currently, we are performing data exploration to assess the feasibility for our proposed study. We are investigating the association between exposure to Metformin and subsequent reduction in serum Vitamin B12 among adults with diagnosed type II diabetes.

Scientific Questions Being Studied

Currently, we are performing data exploration to assess the feasibility for our proposed study. We are investigating the association between exposure to Metformin and subsequent reduction in serum Vitamin B12 among adults with diagnosed type II diabetes.

Project Purpose(s)

  • Disease Focused Research (type 2 diabetes mellitus)

Scientific Approaches

We aim to utilize the conditions dataset to identify patients with diagnosed Type II Diabetes using corresponding SNOMED codes. Further more, we aim to include those with a record of a Vitamin B12 measurement using the measurements table. We will utilize three tables from this cohort - a person level table with demographic information, a condition table with diagnosis details, and measurement table with laboratory details. We will utilize the Jupyter R notebook to perform an exploratory analysis to identify how many patients received a B12 measurement after their diagnosis and metformin exposure to start with our exploratory analysis.

Anticipated Findings

We anticipate that exposure to metformin will be associated with a reduction in Vitamin B12 levels. These findings will aid clinicians in identifying people with diabetes at risk of Vitamin B12 reduction and subsequent deficiency, and will aid in enabling these clinicians in implementing early preventive interventions to mitigate negative outcomes and costs.

Demographic Categories of Interest

This study will not center on underrepresented populations.

Data Set Used

Registered Tier

Research Team

Owner:

  • Aryana Sepassi - Early Career Tenure-track Researcher, University of California, Irvine

Older Adults & COVID19

Seeking to utilize All of Us data to determine whether a substantial sample size exists to dive into COVID-19 research for older adults in the United States. Currently, we are exploring data to formalize specific research questions, but in general…

Scientific Questions Being Studied

Seeking to utilize All of Us data to determine whether a substantial sample size exists to dive into COVID-19 research for older adults in the United States. Currently, we are exploring data to formalize specific research questions, but in general are seeking to look at older adults on double and triple threat therapy.

Project Purpose(s)

  • Disease Focused Research (Cardiovascular Disease)
  • Population Health
  • Drug Development

Scientific Approaches

Datasets will likely include any data containing medication related data, demographic related data, access to care and resource utilization data, and COVID-19 survey data. All analyses will be performed using R. Data may be queried using SQL.

Anticipated Findings

We anticipate that older adults on double or triple threat therapy likely experienced the same number of adverse events or falls as pre-COVID, but were not able to access emergency care at all, or in a timely manner (e.g. within 24 hours of fall).

Demographic Categories of Interest

  • Race / Ethnicity
  • Age
  • Disability Status
  • Access to Care

Data Set Used

Registered Tier

Research Team

Owner:

  • Aryana Sepassi - Early Career Tenure-track Researcher, University of California, Irvine
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