179911 Differences in health behaviors among Rural Mexicans, Urban Mexicans and Mexican-Americans

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 4:30 PM

Ranjita Misra, PhD , Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Erica T. Sosa, MS , Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Roxana Valdes Ramos, DSc , Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Edo., Mexico
Linda Castillo, PhD , Dept of Educational Psychology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Martha Kaufer-Horwitz, DSc , Clínica de Obesidad y Trastornos de Alimentación, INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE CIENCIAS MÉDICAS Y NUTRICI"N SALVADOR ZUBIRÁN, Mexico, DF, Mexico
Alejandra Donaji Benitez Arciniega, MPH , Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Edo., Mexico
Fernando Farfan Gonzalez Gonzalez, MD MHN , Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico, Toluca, Edo., Mexico
Type 2 diabetes epidemic is worsening in the US with 42 million at risk for diabetes (pre-diabetes). Mexican Americans are disproportionately burdened by the disease and its related complications as compared to non-Hispanic Whites. The health and economic burden of the disease is not only higher for this ethnic group but also affects their quality of life. Westernized lifestyle may compound risk factors as well as prevalence of the disease. This study compared health behaviors among normoglycemic rural Mexicans (n=42), urban Mexicans (n=119), and Mexican American (MA; n=145) adults in Texas. Data was collected by ethnically similar interviewers through face-to-face interviews (English and Spanish) on the following parameters: diabetes knowledge, motivators to healthy diet and exercise and current diet and exercise behaviors, and social barriers. The mean ages were 44.5 years (MA), 47.5 years (Rural Mexicans) and 48.2 years (Urban Mexicans) respectively. The majority of the respondents were females (55% MAs, 71% rural Mexican, 77% urban Mexican). Results indicated a significant difference in knowledge of diabetes, motivation for exercise, and perceived social barriers among the three groups. Rural Mexicans and immigrant MAs in Texas reported higher social barriers e.g., lack of money, family and housing problem, crimes, and care giving, and had lower knowledge of the disease. Although rural Mexicans and MAs had significantly higher motivation for exercise (but not in exercise behavior), perhaps the higher social barriers prohibited them to exercise. Results provide vital information for the development of culturally-specific diabetes prevention programs for this ethnic group.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the health and economic burden of diabetes among Mexican Americans. 2. List the differences in lifestyle behaviors and social barriers among rural and urban Mexicans and Mexican Americans. 3. Discuss the need for culturally-specific diabetes prevention programs to reduce prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes for this ethnic group.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have actively participated in the development of this abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.