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Community leaders contribute to diabetes research

October 2010
Community leaders contribute to diabetes research Community leaders contribute to diabetes research

Diabetes is a major issue for South Asians, who have higher rates of diabetes and tend to get diabetes at lower weights and ages than other populations. Since lifestyle interventions have not yet been widely applied to the South Asian community in the United States, Emory University’s South Asian Health and Prevention Education (SHAPE) team is specifically working on this population in its diabetes prevention program.

On August 18, 2010, Emory hosted a Community Leaders Meeting for the SHAPE team. Team members present were K.M. Venkat Narayan, Mary Beth Weber, Monique Hennink, Aarti Patel, Kiran Patel, and Lisa Staimez. Community leaders in attendance were Michael Gault (American Diabetes Association, Executive Director, Atlanta and North Georgia Chapters), Amita Gupta (Physical Therapy Forum), Umed Ajani (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention), Rajesh Jyotishi (Shalin Financial Services; Khabar), Barry Patel (Total Therapeutic Management, Inc., ADA board member), Arshed Quyyumi (School of Medicine, Emory University), and Saloni Vastani (Ismaili Council).

Since last fall, the study team has conducted 17 focus groups to assess the South Asian community beliefs and practices regarding diabetes and diabetes prevention. The information is being analyzed to help modify diabetes prevention curriculum. An example of culturally appropriate instruction is the Bollywood-based dance class that will be led by fitness instructor and SHAPE lead exercise interventionist, Aarti Patel.

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