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UA Awarded $2.9 Million NIH Grant for Binational Diabetes Prevention Study

A team of researchers from the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and El Colegio de Sonora will conduct research to focus on the prevention of cardiovascular disease and its complications among adults with diabetes in Northern Mexico.

Dr. Cecilia Rosales (right) and Jill Guernsey de Zapien (left) from the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health with Dr. Catalina Denman Champion (center), El Colegio de Sonora.

Dr. Cecilia Rosales (right) and Jill Guernsey de Zapien (left) from the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health with Dr. Catalina Denman Champion (center), El Colegio de Sonora.

The world is facing a growing diabetes epidemic of potentially devastating proportions. Its impact will be felt most severely in developing countries. Researchers at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health are engaged in ongoing initiatives to prevent and manage diabetes and its complications in Arizona and Mexico.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded a $2.9 million five year grant to the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health for a diabetes prevention study in Sonora, Mexico. The study will focus on the prevention of cardiovascular disease and its complications among adults with diabetes.

The study addresses a critical health issue in Mexico and among Latinos in the U.S. regarding the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease among people with diabetes.

“This research will not only benefit the neighboring population, but provides important research and implementation strategies for the U.S. population and Latino population in particular,” said lead researcher Cecilia Rosales, MD, MS, assistant dean of the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health – Phoenix.

The NIH cited the UA College of Public Health for having extensive expertise in the area of implementation science, the study of methods to promote the integration of research findings and evidence into healthcare policy and practice. In addition, the college has a strong partnership and longstanding collaboration with El Colegio de Sonora and a strong research team with experience and relationships in Sonora, Mexico.

The intervention study is combined with an implementation study, which Rosales said will provide very useful information concerning effective approaches for scaling up evidenced based interventions to the state and federal levels.

“We will learn how information about health promotion and preventive interventions is packaged, communicated and interpreted among a diverse group of important stakeholders. This research will provide the evidence that can potentially guide efforts to increase the intervention within public health and community health systems,” said Rosales.

“The University of Arizona and El Colegio de Sonora have collaborated for decades to improve the health of vulnerable populations on both sides of the border. This current research project provides us with the opportunity to bolster our commitment and ability to work with public health systems. Together we will be better positioned to face the challenges posed by chronic disease and improve quality of life in diabetic populations in Northern Mexico and eventually in other regions in the country. We expect to have significant experiences to share with other countries in the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases, who also face similar challenges as they respond to the need to improve care with reduced resources,” said Catalina Denman, PhD, El Colegio de Sonora.

The project, “Tools and Practices to Decrease CVD and Complications in the Diabetic Population of Mexico,” is funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Heart , Lung, and Blood Institute under grant number R01HL125996.

The University of Arizona