LOS ANGELES, Calif.–The National Institutes of Health awarded $81.3 million to UCLA and several partners for research into conditions that cause disability and early death in Los Angeles County.

Rates of premature death and disability related to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, AIDS, depression, violence and other preventable conditions in the county far exceed national averages, according to Dr. A. Eugene Washington, UCLA’s vice chancellor for health sciences and dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Language barriers, cultural beliefs, poverty and access to care also play a part in the high numbers, according to UCLA.

“The NIH’s investment in Los Angeles County will enable UCLA and its partners to more effectively pursue our transformative mission–to improve the health status of Los Angeles in a measurable way and enhance the quality of life for a significant number of our fellow Angelenos,” Washington said.

The funds will go to UCLA’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute, in partnership with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.