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Life in poor areas can be stressful and dangerous. Stress can be caused by money problems, and crime. Center research will study how stress affects health. Past studies found that stress creates mental and physical problems. Stress that threatens your body and life is traumatic. Traumatic stress may be especially bad. It can make people sad and nervous. It can also hurt the body. People tend not to sleep as well, or exercise as much when they are stressed. Stressed people may drink alcohol, smoke, and use drugs to cope. Stress also weakens the immune system. It can lead to heart disease and weight gain. ​

The Center will be among the first to study how traumatic stress can lead to illness. It will study how traumatic stress can cause depression, and anxiety. The Center will also look at the ways that stress can affect medical care. We plan to study many different people.  We plan to study the young and old. We also will study people from different backgrounds. Then we will look at the ways these people are alike and different when it comes to coping with trauma. By studying these people we can help everyone get better medical care.