Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Duke University Seeks To Address Diabetes in the Black Community Through Church Congregations
Duke University is aiming to recruit 300 black residents from local churches for a study on how to reduce complications from diabetes, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. According to the News & Observer, diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in North Carolina. Statewide, 547,000 residents have diabetes -- roughly 8.5% of the population, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The diabetes rate for blacks in North Carolina is 13.3% and is increasing faster than it is for than any other ethnic group. The Diabetes Improvement Project, which is funded with a $1.5 million grant from NIH, features educational forums and social support groups within the churches for individuals with type 2 diabetes. Participants will submit three diagnostic tests over the next year, as well as communicate regularly with a community health educator to monitor their progress in the project. Researchers will then compare the results with 300 other individuals who are receiving care through Duke's health system for diabetes but are not involved in the study. Researchers believe that churches and other respected community organizations have the best influence on black residents, according to the News & Observer. Elaine Hart-Brothers, a physician and one of the study's researchers, said one goal of the project is to determine whether individuals from different economic groups who have the same exposure to information and professional resources would see equal improvements in their health (Shimron, Raleigh News & Observer, 1/29).
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