Researchers Launch Binational Effort to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes Along U.S.-Mexico Border
A "groundbreaking binational study" along the U.S.-Mexico border, where the rates of death and illness from diabetes are two to three times higher than in any other place in both countries, will investigate the "prevalence" of the disease and ways to "create treatment and prevention programs," the Los Angeles Times reports. The five-month study is part of a five-year project led by the Pan American Health Organization, and involves state, federal and nongovernmental agencies. In California, the study will be funded by the not-for-profit California Endowment. Of the 11 million people living along the border, 10% have diabetes, and the number of cases is increasing 5% each year. The Times reports that the border region was selected for study since ethnicity and poverty issues, including malnutrition, are "major factor[s]" for increasing diabetes risks. Diabetes is "particularly prevalent" among Mexican Americans, and about 70% of the population in the region is of Mexican ancestry. To develop treatment and prevention programs, the study will examine access to health care in the region and "consider culture." Oscar De La Riva, who is coordinating the study in California, said, "It's important to have a healthy diet and exercise. But, you don't want to tell them, for example, not to eat tortillas." The first year of the study will focus on Type 2 diabetes, which afflicts 90% of those with the disease, and will analyze causes and community awareness of diabetes. In years two through four, treatment and prevention programs will be implemented, with the fifth year of study dedicated to reviewing program effectiveness (Nguyen, Los Angeles Times, 2/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.