Assistant Research Professor
Washington State University
Assistant Research Professor at the Initiative for Research and Education to Advance Community Health (IREACH) at Washington State University, and Affiliate Assistant Professor at the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington.
Examining risk factors for type 2 diabetes among American Indian and Alaska Native adolescents to inform interventions to improve health outcomes
This project will contribute to the vision for a Culture of Health and the action area of Healthier Communities by clarifying the principal risk factors for type 2 diabetes in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) adolescents. Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and amputations; reduces quality of life; and shortens life expectancy. At 1.20 per 1,000, AI/AN adolescents have the highest prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the US, followed by African Americans (1.06), Hispanics (0.79), Asians (0.34), and Whites (0.17). Despite this elevated prevalence, the principal risk factors for type 2 diabetes in AI/AN adolescents are unclear. Notably, the complications of this condition develop at an accelerated pace during adolescence – which also offers a critical opportunity for behavioral interventions that can minimize disease risk and complications. A better understanding of diabetes risk factors in AI/AN youth is therefore essential to preventing new cases, building a Culture of Health, and ensuring that all Americans have the opportunity to live the healthiest lives possible.
The analytical approach adopted for this work derives from the social determinants of health model. In this model, type 2 diabetes is understood as the result of interrelated factors at multiple levels, ranging from individual behaviors through community norms to national policy. The proposed project will estimate the relative significance of various risk factors for type 2 diabetes in AI/AN adolescents and young adults, with data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. The results will be disseminated at the community level, and will provide insights that will inform the design of community-based, culturally-tailored interventions for AI/ANs across the nation.
Sociology, Health disparities, Public health, Obesity and Type 2 diabetes prevention, American Indian and Alaska Native health, Hispanic/Latino health.
- New Connections Status: Junior Investigator
- Award Year: 2016
- RWJF Team/Portfolio: Social Epidemiology, Community Health