The incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and its long term sequelae are increasing in the US, particularly among Latinos. Latinos are at increased risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) and develop T2D at younger ages and at a lower body weight index compared to non-Hispanic whites. For these reasons, Latinos have been identified as a NIDDK priority population with a NIDDK research agenda that includes both biologic, socioeconomic and sociocultural factors that affect T2D prevalence and complications. Acculturation is an important socio-cultural factor that may explain the disproportionate health burden of T2D among Latinos. Acculturation is defined as the process whereby an immigrant culture adopts the beliefs and practices of a host culture. There are limited studies of T2D risk factors and acculturation and how this relationship affects intermediary T2D processes and outcomes such as incident T2D and subclinical cardiovascular disease. The association between acculturation and T2D is inconsistent among Latinos in the published literature. This grant will study the association of acculturation with T2D risk and risk factors using data from multiple well- established epidemiologic NIH cohort studies using validated multidimensional acculturation scales that capture the complex domains of cultural values, beliefs, and behaviors of the acculturation process. The 5 cohorts are: San Antonio Heart Study, Sacramento Latino Study of Aging, Boston Area Community Health Survey, Dallas Heart Study and the Framingham Heart Study Omni Cohort. The simultaneous comparison of findings will maximize the potential for exploring whether the reported heterogeneity of prior study findings is due to differences in underlying Latino cohort characteristics, geographic differences in the process of acculturation in the US and/or differences in the measure of acculturation. Dr. Lopez's long-term goal is to become an independent patient-oriented researcher in diabetes care. Aided by advanced coursework in biostatistics and social epidemiology during the K23 award period, Dr. Lopez will acquire additional research skills and experience under the mentorship of nationally and internationally known researchers in a supportive academic environment. 1

Public Health Relevance

Acculturation is an important socio-cultural factor that may explain the disproportionate health burden of type 2 diabetes (T2D) among Latinos. Understanding how acculturation impacts T2D risk factors and outcomes among Latinos will inform how best to tailor lifestyle and behavioral interventions and reduce health disparities. 2

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases B Subcommittee (DDK)
Program Officer
Hyde, James F
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Massachusetts General Hospital
United States
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