Nursing Faculty Member Publishes “Menopause, Rurality and Obesity in Rural African American Women”

October 18, 2016 at 10:09 am

colleen-kilgore-bookIn the U.S., one in every eight deaths is due to an obesity-related chronic health condition (ORCHC). More than half of African American women (AAW) 20 years old or older are obese or morbidly obese, as are 63% of menopausal AAW. Many have ORCHC that increase their morbidity and mortality and increase health care costs. In 2013, 42.6 percent of African American living in South Carolina were obese.

Given a nursing career that has spanned 25 years and includes starting as a registered nurse in Atlanta and moving up to family nurse practitioner in Orangeburg and becoming an assistant professor of nursing at the University of South Carolina Upstate, Dr. Colleen M. Kilgore was destined to study health in the South.

Kilgore, who completed her doctoral dissertation in August 2014 at Florida International University, recently published a book titled, “Menopause, Rurality and Obesity in Rural African American Women.” The book available via Kindle, Amazon, Google, and many other media platforms.

“In light of the present-day obesity crisis, this study describes the impact of demographic, cognitive, behavioral, and biological factors on health outcomes in pre-menopausal and menopausal African American women living in rural South Carolina,” said Kilgore. “The data suggests that obesity and related chronic diseases can be, in fact, curbed by a better-informed public, a shift in body-awareness and a deeper understanding of the sociocultural heritage and our relationship to food in general.”

As a groundbreaking study within this high-risk population, “Menopause, Rurality and Obesity in Rural African American Women” also puts in perspective to what extent these factors are driven by the socioeconomic status of the women. The findings from this research place renewed urgency on interactive strategies in education and the healthcare field in order to better equip African American women in rural areas with the tools to confront obesity and related chronic diseases.

For more information, contact Dr. Colleen M. Kilgore at (864) 552-4214 or