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October 9, 2012

UMBC Center for Aging Studies Receives $1.37 Million NIH Grant for Diabetes Research

Dinah Winnick
Communications Manager
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

The National Institutes of Health has awarded researchers from UMBC’s Center for Aging Studies a three-year research grant totaling $1,366,702 to examine “The Subjective Experience of Diabetes among Urban Older Adults.”

Rates of type-2 diabetes have grown significantly in the last decade and diabetes now accounts for as much as 20% of total healthcare costs in the United States. Self-management—related to diet, exercise, glucose testing and medication—is crucial in coping with diabetes, but can be challenging for older adults who are vulnerable to the disease.

This ethnographic study will assess the subjective experience of type-2 diabetes among older adults in urban contexts, with the goal of informing targeted interventions to improve diabetes-related outcomes among underrepresented populations.

The study explores what people themselves think about their diabetes as well as how local social, cultural and material contexts inform those perceptions and personal approaches to managing the illness. Study results may be used to design more sensitive and culturally appropriate education and self-management programs.

J. Kevin Eckert, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and Sarah Chard, associate professor of anthropology, are co-PIs on the project. Additional collaborators from the department include Assistant Professor Brandy Harris-Wallace, Professor Robert Rubinstein and Senior Ethnographer Erin Roth.

Posted by dwinnick at October 9, 2012 12:14 PM