The Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity
Diabetes mellitus is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States (US). Recent estimates published in 2011 indicate that about 26 million Americans have diabetes, or about 8.3% of the US population. An additional 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes, placing them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The public health burden of diabetes is even more pronounced in most racial and ethnic minority groups. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes and its associated complications, including mortality, are higher for African Americans and Hispanics, the largest racial/ethnic minority groups in North Carolina and the US. Despite the successes seen in national diabetes prevention and control studies, there is a glaring lack of understanding in the ways in which the findings of these and other studies can be adequately implemented and adopted in real world settings to provide benefit to the populations that are most vulnerable to this common and costly disease. The recent emphasis on community-based and translational research at the federal level, especially T4 research, which emphasizes the translation of scientific knowledge to impact the community, can be a key aspect to addressing these disparities. This approach requires a concerted effort between scientists adequately trained in conducting culturally appropriate research and representatives within the community. For the proposed COE, the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity will develop and implement a multi-pronged approach with the overall focus on translating evidence-based, lifestyle strategies to eliminate health disparities In diabetes prevention and control. The MACHE COE will achieve the following aims pertinent to the overall goal of translating lifestyle approaches for eliminating diabetes disparities: (1) Design and conduct two community-based intervention studies focusing on diabetes prevention and control.