Jiang, Luohua , PhD
Multilevel analysis of the translational effects of lifestyle intervention among American Indian and Alaska Natives
General Research Subject: Insulin Resistance Pre Diabetes
Focus: Psychosocial Behavioral Medicine
Type of Grant: Clinical Translational Research
Project Start Date: July 1, 2012
Project End Date: June 30, 2015
The purpose of this project is to address the striking diabetes disparities that American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) face by investigating how to effectively implement a lifestyle intervention to prevent diabetes in the real world of diverse AI/AN communities. The investigators of this project propose to analyze data from the Special Diabetes Program for Indians Diabetes Prevention demonstration project (SDPI-DP), a lifestyle intervention program implemented in 36 geographically and tribally diverse AI/AN sites. The aims of this project are to look for answers to the questions about for whom and where the lifestyle intervention works better to prevent diabetes, and what are the possible reasons for the differences in intervention outcomes among the SDPI-DP participants and sites. The work proposed here promises to provide important knowledge about how to successfully implement lifestyle intervention among diverse AI/AN communities in the future and to reduce the diabetes disparities in AI/ANs and other underserved populations eventually.
What area of diabetes research does your project cover? What role will this particular project play in preventing, treating and/or curing diabetes?
This project addresses the striking diabetes disparities that American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) face by investigating how to effectively implement a lifestyle intervention to prevent diabetes in the real world of diverse AI/AN communities. he resulting dissemination products of this project promise to provide important knowledge about how to successfully implement lifestyle intervention to prevent diabetes among diverse AI/AN communities in the future and to reduce the daunting diabetes disparities experienced by AI/ANs and other underserved populations. More specifically, the identification of exogenous factors related to different intervention outcomes will lead to more targeted and focused intervention delivery strategy for different populations. Meanwhile, the delineation of the pathways for differential intervention effects will help refine the intervention strategies to intervene not only the ultimate health outcomes, but also the mediators between the exogenous factors and outcomes.
If a person with diabetes were to ask you how your project will help them in the future, how would you respond?
The main purposes of this project are to investigate for whom and where the lifestyle intervention works better, and why. By seeking answers to those questions, this project promises to provide critical insights in designing future translational efforts of the lifestyle intervention that can reach broader at risk populations and prevent diabetes more effectively. The knowledge gained by conducting this project will be particularly helpful for the next generations of patients with diabetes as they are at higher risk for developing diabetes during their lifetime.
Why is it important for you, personally, to become involved in diabetes research? What role will this award play in your research efforts?
I became interested in diabetes research since I was a graduate student. The first public health research project I participated was a study of African American with diabetes in Los Angeles area. While working on this project, I got to learn what a serious public health problem diabetes was, and was shocked by the huge health disparities suffered by many minority populations due to this disease. Upon receiving my Ph.D. degree, I joined the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Health at University of Colorado Denver, where I was the lead biostatistician for two national multi-site projects to prevent diabetes and its complications among AI/ANs. This experience furthered my interest and passion in diabetes research and laid a solid foundation for my career in this area. With the rising tide of obesity and diabetes epidemic worldwide, I’ve known more and more of my relatives, colleagues, friends, and parents of friends being diagnosed with diabetes, which is another strong motivation for me to devote in diabetes research areas. This award provides me the perfect opportunity to move forward my research plan of investigating factors related to and delineating pathways leading to successful diabetes prevention strategies that will help overcome the rising tide of diabetes eventually.
In what direction do you see the future of diabetes research going?
In my opinion, future diabetes research is going to focus more on the following directions: (1) Translating proven intervention strategies, especially cost effective diabetes prevention interventions, into the real world settings to broadly benefit general populations who are at risk for diabetes. (2) Designing better diabetes management methods for earlier detection and more effective management of diabetes complications.
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