TAMIU Researcher Looks at Diabetes, Health Literacy Among Mexican-Americans
Posted: 5/10/12

TAMIU Researchers Looks at Diabetes,
Health Literacy Among Mexican-Americans

A Texas A&M International University faculty researcher and TAMIU students are conducting an important binational study featuring Laredo research looking at the relationship between diabetes and health literacy.          

Dr. Suko Lee, TAMIU associate professor, College of Education, is part of the study sponsored by TAMIU, Texas A&M University and the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México.  The study is collecting data in Laredo, Bryan-College Station, San Antonio and Mexico City.

In Laredo, Dr. Lee is collaborating with Mercy Ministries of Laredo and will be conducting on-site research May 9-10 at the Mercy Clinic, 2500 Zacatecas in south Laredo.

“Regrettably, Mexican-Americans have a high rate of diabetes and twice the rate of heart disease than other ethnic groups,” Dr. Lee explained, “We will be looking at the correlation between health behaviors, health literacy, or understanding of one’s health, and self-management for diabetics.”

Participants in the study must be over 18 years of age, have diabetes for more than one year, have been born in México or have parents from México and cannot be pregnant, he said.

Those selected will undergo measurements of height and weight, blood pressure, fasting blood work and a brief interview.  TAMIU students will be assisting in the interviews and data collection.  After data is collected and analyzed, the data will be shared with Mercy Clinic.

Sister Rosemary Welsh, Mercy Clinic Outreach Director, said the Clinic is excited about the collaboration with TAMIU researchers.

“In our Diabetes Center we daily deal with patients as they work to manage their diabetes.  For many, it is a struggle and a difficult adaptation.  We are hopeful that by participating in this research, we can enhance our patients’ management of their diabetes and, by extension, help other patients like them elsewhere.  We are excited to see TAMIU students involved in this research and looking forward to working with them,” Sister Welsh said.

Mercy Clinic provides vital health services to the medically disenfranchised, the financially-disadvantaged, and most isolated people in the community by providing equitable access to healthcare, healthcare education, and much needed social services.

For additional information, contact Dr. Lee at 956.326.2672 or slee@tamiu.edu

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