Grant money to fund study

by publicationarchive

The San Diego Prevention Research Center was recently awarded with $1.4 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a four-year study in collaboration with Mexico.

The research center is directed by San Diego State professors John and Elder Elva Arredondo.

“This is a very exciting prospect for us,” Elder, a professor of health promotion, said.
“In terms of SDSU, I think this is a highly visible grant 8212; we had to compete against a lot of other universities to get this funding and it was a very competitive process.

“What really helped us get the grant is the fact that SDSU has such a large, diverse, student body and takes such an interest in diverse communities, especially Latino communities locally.”

Elder and Arredondo, a behavioral sciences professor, will be leading the Latin American Chronic Disease Prevention Study, focusing on obesity prevention and control. The study will also aim to increase understanding of heart disease, cancer and diabetes prevention in Hispanic communities, specifically Mexican and Mexican-American communities.

“It makes sense that they are conducting this project with Mexico because I know a lot of members of my family in Mexico have diabetes,” Ana Figueroa, an SDSU student, said.
According to Forbes Magazine, the United States and Mexico are among the top 20 most overweight countries in the world.

“I think it’s fairly unique that we’re not just looking at Mexico, or not just looking at a foreign country, but we’re looking at both Mexico and the U.S., and trying to see if there is a common approach (on chronic disease prevention) that we can derive for both countries and the similar populations,” Elder said.

This bi-national effort will be conducted by the SDPRC and the Mexican Ministry of Health’s National Institute of Public Health, with collaboration directed by another SDSU professor of public health, Guadalupe X. Ayala.

The first year of investigation will focus on looking at existing information on chronic diseases in Hispanics and seeing what work has been done throughout the U.S. and Latin America. The second year of the project is a planning process to develop pilot studies in Mexico and the U.S., most likely in America’s southwest border region.

“I think this study will help SDSU students because of our school’s large prevalence of people with Hispanic descent and the sedentary lifestyle we have in college,” SDSU student and dual Colombian and U.S. citizen Alejandra Jimenez said.

Elder and the SDPRC are also looking to SDSU students to help with the project.
“This could give undergraduate and graduate students a chance to work on a cutting edge research project,” Elder said.