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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Arizona Awarded $437,000 Grant for Diabetes Prevention Study among Hispanics

Hispanic adults of Mexican descent in the United States experience a greater burden of diabetes, with a prevalence rate almost twice that of non-Hispanic whites. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of early death among people with diabetes.

[Photo: Dr. Tomas Nuño]

The world is facing a growing diabetes epidemic of potentially devastating proportions. The World Health Organization recognizes the need to address modifiable risk factors for CVD globally by promoting interventions that address tobacco use, unhealthy diets, and sedentary behavior. In particular, among Hispanics, there is a need for adoption of scalable, evidence-based interventions that address healthy lifestyle promotion and disease management for diabetic patients, their families, and communities.

The goal of this study is to determine the clinical outcomes and CVD prevention behaviors and risk factors among diabetic Hispanic patients living in Tucson and Nogales, Arizona.

“This will be a first step in providing needed information to develop large-scale public health interventions in the state of Arizona to reduce CVD disparities among Hispanic diabetics,” said Dr. Tomas Nuño, assistant professor of public health practice and translational research at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health – Phoenix and the department of emergency medicine at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

Dr. Nuño received a $437,000 diversity supplement grant for his three-year research project. The funding is part of $2.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health awarded to the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health in 2015. The larger study focuses on the prevention of CVD and its complications among adults with diabetes in Northern Mexico. It includes a multi-site randomized-controlled trial to evaluate tools and practices to decrease cardiovascular disease and complications in the diabetic population.

“Our study in Sonora, Mexico provides important research and implementation strategies for the U.S. population and Latino population in particular. Dr. Nuño’s research will build upon the infrastructure and lessons learned from our research to date,” said Dr. Cecilia Rosales, associate dean and professor of the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health – Phoenix and principal investigator of the Sonora, Mexico study.

Dr. Nuño’s study in Arizona will utilize the methods developed in the parent project and work with community health workers in Arizona to address the needs of the Hispanic diabetic population of the U.S.