The University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health has been awarded a $2.9 million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health for a diabetes prevention study in Sonora, Mexico that will focus on the prevention of cardiovascular disease and its complications among adults with diabetes.

The world is facing a growing diabetes epidemic of potentially devastating proportions – and its impact will be most severely felt in developing nations. In response, researchers at the UA 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 study addresses a critical health issue in Mexico and among Latinos in the United States regarding the secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseaseamong people with diabetes.

“This research not only will 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 health-care 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 Dr. Rosales said will provide useful information concerning effective approaches to increase evidenced-based interventions at 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,” Dr. Rosales said.

“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 the opportunity to bolster our commitment and ability to work with public health systems,” said Catalina Denman, PhD, El Colegio de Sonora. 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.”