Collaborative research and actions on both sides of the US-Mexico border to counteract type 2 diabetes in people of Mexican origin

Mexico-California Diabetes collaborative group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) is now a massive epidemic in both California and Mexico, with serious consequences for social and economic well-being. A large proportion of these populations share common ethnic backgrounds. Yet diverse environmental and social conditions across regions create unique opportunities to explore the ways that T2D risk, incidence, management and outcomes manifest. Main Text: An action-oriented research consortium headed up by the University of California and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico was constituted to set priorities for bi-national translational research, in an attempt to implement and evaluate clinical, public health and policy actions to decrease the burden of T2D for people of Mexican origin. In this paper, we describe the epidemiology of T2D in Mexico and California, review current efforts to combat the epidemic, highlight gaps in knowledge and identify urgent areas of opportunity for collaboration. The group has developed a common research agenda and funding has been obtained to evaluate biological samples from the 2016 Mexican Health Survey, collaborate in a telemedicine-based retinopathy project, implement interventions in food banks, promote a communications campaign, and design a large-scale diabetes prevention effectiveness trial. Conclusions: T2D has caused a state of emergency in Mexico and is a major health problem among Mexican populations on both sides of the border. Understanding the commonalities and differences between California and Mexico for those of Mexican origin with respect to T2D, when combined with a sharing of knowledge and advances, can produce a bi-national translational research agenda to inform relevant policy and practice. Amidst economic and political uncertainty and limited healthcare budgets, this collaboration can contribute to the development of scientific evidence to inform policies and interventions. This may provide a promising collaborative model that could be expanded to other health conditions and regions of the world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number84
JournalGlobalization and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 22 2018


  • California, Mexico, Diabetes, Prevention, Global Health, Translational Research, Health Policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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