By Heather Reifsnyder
Twenty-six Hispanics from the San Bernardino area have learned skills to help control their diabetes through lifestyle choices.
Loma Linda University made sure of this during a free three-month research and outreach program.
The diabetics underwent free initial blood and body composition tests as well as follow-up tests at the end of the study. In the interval between, they attended eight hours of classes, taught in Spanish by an LLU professor and students.
The culturally sensitive classes focused on using proper nutrition and exercise to manage blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes complications, such as kidney failure, blindness, and limb amputations.
This program was led by principal investigator Zaida Cordero-MacIntyre, PhD, assistant professor in the School of Public Health’s department of nutrition. LLU public health students assisted.
“This is an outreach to members of the Hispanic community who don’t have access to health education,” says Dr. Cordero-MacIntyre, who also conducted a study like this in 2005.
The first study’s results—which were favorable—have been written and are being submitted for publication. Participants learned to change their dietary intake and physical activity in order to manage blood sugar.
The most recent study was funded by an award from the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and it was sponsored by LLU’s recently established Center for Health Disparities and Molecular Medicine. This LLU center brings together researchers from different disciplines within the Schools of Medicine and Public Health who are committed to easing the disproportionate burden of diseases—such as diabetes, stroke, cancer, and HIV/AIDS—that often falls on medically underserved populations. The center is under the direction of Marino De Leon, PhD.