The “Skinny” on Health Disparities among Asian Americans: Biological, Behavioral, and Social Determinants
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
72 East Concord Street
Cohosted with Boston University College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College.
Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group, and have surpassed Latinos as the largest wave of new immigrants to the United States. Despite perceptions of high household incomes and educational attainment, health disparities persist, and few studies reflect the heterogeneity in their health risk factors and behaviors. In California, type 2 diabetes prevalence is highest among Pacific Islanders, Filipinos, and South Asians, exceeding rates among Latinos, African Americans, and Native Americans; gestational diabetes prevalence follows similar patterns. Biological factors explain some of their excess risk for type 2 diabetes, but social determinants—including socioeconomic disadvantage, childhood malnutrition, sleep insufficiency, and limited social connectedness—play important roles and create opportunities for public health intervention.
Maria Rosario Araneta, Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of California San Diego
Maria Rosario Araneta is a professor of epidemiology at the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of California San Diego (UCSD). Her research interests include ethnic health disparities in type 2 diabetes and regional fat distribution, maternal and pediatric HIV/AIDS, reproductive outcomes, fetal origins of disease, and culturally relevant community interventions. Araneta is the co-principal investigator (PI) of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) Outcomes Study at UCSD; PI of the UCSD Filipino Health Study; co-investigator of the Rancho Bernardo Study, where she directs health disparities research among Caucasians, Filipinos, and African-Americans; co-investigator on maternal and perinatal HIV studies in Tijuana, Mexico; and studies on preterm birth among immigrant populations. She led national studies on birth defects and adverse reproductive outcomes among Gulf War Veterans, and her research has informed public health policies on HIV screening in donor artificial insemination, as well as diabetes screening among Asian-Americans. Her research has been presented nationally and internationally, including press appearances on CNN and MSNBC, and has been published in the Associated Press, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Nature, Physician’s Weekly, and Medscape Medical News. Araneta is director of Epidemiology Courses for UCSD’s Clinical and Translational Research Training Program. She has mentored doctoral and medical students, and junior faculty from Brazil, Ethiopia, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom. Araneta received the 2014 American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Vivian Fonseca Award for her research on diabetes in Asians and Pacific Islanders, the ADA’s “2015 Best of Care” recognition for authoring one of the nine most noteworthy articles in Diabetes Care in 2015, and was the Inaugural Endowed Lecturer for the Lawrence and Evelyn Wing Family Lectureship on Diabetes at Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School in 2017. She serves on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Advisory Council for the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), and was recently appointed to the NIH Council of Councils. She holds a BA in biology from UCSD and an MPH and a PhD in epidemiology from Yale University.