Yashika Sharma

Yashika Sharma, MPhil, MSN, RN is a PhD candidate at the Center for Sexual and Gender Minority Health Research at Columbia University School of Nursing. Her research focuses on examining factors that impact cardiovascular health disparities among sexual minority (e.g., gay, lesbian, bisexual) adults. In her dissertation, Ms. Sharma is investigating the impact of social determinants of health on cardiovascular disease and risk factors among sexual minority adults. As a predoctoral fellow, she is receiving training in LGBTQ+ health, cardiovascular epidemiology, health disparities, biobehavioral health, and advanced statistical methods. Her mentorship team includes Drs. Billy A. Caceres, Tonda L. Hughes, and Jacquelyn Y. Taylor.

Ms. Sharma is the recipient of a predoctoral fellowship award from the American Heart Association. With this award, she is conducting a secondary data analysis of a 22-year longitudinal study of sexual minority women’s health. She is examining the associations of sexual identity disclosure and family support with incident hypertension among sexual minority women, an understudied population within cardiovascular research. She will also explore potential moderators and mediators of these associations.

Ms. Sharma is a member of the American Heart Association, New York Academy of Medicine, and Eastern Nursing Research Society.

Research Interests

adverse childhood experiences
health inequities
LGBT populations
social determinants
social support


National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
Add Health (National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health)