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Abandoned Coal Mine Lands, Community Health & Diabetes

abandoned mine land

There is increasing concern in the public health community about living in communities with what has been termed chronic environmental contamination. Ann Liu, a doctoral student at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, completed her thesis research on the community and individual-level impacts of coal abandoned mine lands (AMLs).

Her first paper, that found that the greater the burden of AMLs in communities, the higher the community socioeconomic deprivation, was published in the peer-reviewed journal ISRN Public Health. Her second paper found that higher AML burden was associated with worse diabetes early in the disease course and worse progression over time in 28,000 Geisinger diabetic patients using hemoglobin A1c levels, a biomarker of diabetes severity and control.


Liu AY, Curriero FC, Glass TA, Stewart WF, Schwartz BS. Associations of the burden of coal abandoned mine lands with three dimensions of community context in Pennsylvania. ISRN Public Health 2012; Article ID 251201, p 1-11.

Liu AY, Curriero FC, Glass TA, Stewart WF, Schwartz BS. The contextual influence of coal abandoned mine lands in communities and type 2 diabetes in Pennsylvania. Health and Place 2013 22C: 115-122.