UNT HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER STUDIES DIABETES PREVENTION

October 14, 2004

The University of North Texas Health Science Center is conducting research that may help in preventing diabetes in adults and children and the onset of cardiovascular disease among diabetes sufferers. The study is being conducted with a $1.4 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. The grant is renewable each year for up to three years.

The study brings together researchers from the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Public Healthâ??to address the growing prevalence of diabetes in the United States.

â??About 18 million Americans are believed to have diabetes, which is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States,â? said Craig Spellman, DO, PhD, associate professor of internal medicine and one of the studyâ??s principal investigators. â??The disease has no cure, so it is vitally important for us to recognize and reduce risk factors and find ways to prevent the onset of the disease.â?

Researchers have three main focuses for the study, which is known as DREAMS (Diabetes Research, Education and Metabolic Studies). The first is to develop a family-based program to prevent diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome in Tarrant County; the second is to determine the prevalence of risk factors; and the third is to develop a clinical strategy to prevent the onset of vascular disease in patients with diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome.

The study will also help scientists create outreach programs, track the prevalence of the disease and design tools and tests to predict people at risk for developing diabetes.

Principle investigators for DREAMS include Dr. Spellman; Ximena Urrutia-Rojas, DrPH, assistant professor of social and behavioral sciences; and Michael Clearfield, DO, associate dean for clinical research.

Other investigators include Sejong Bae, PhD, assistant professor of biostatistics; James Caffrey, PhD, professor of integrative physiology; Joan Carroll, PhD, assistant professor of integrative physiology; Susan Franks, PhD, associate professor of family medicine; Paul Garcia, DO, assistant professor of internal medicine; Margaret Garner, PhD, associate professor of cell biology and genetics; Mary Luna Hollen, PhD, RD, LD, public health project coordinator; Andras Lacko, PhD, professor, molecular biology and immunology; Walter McConathy, PhD, assistant professor of internal medicine; Antonio René, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology; Karan Singh, PhD, chair, Department of Biostatistics; Adam Smith, DO, vice chair, Department of Surgery; and Michael Smith, PhD, acting chair, Department of Integrative Physiology.

Tarrant County residents of any ethnic background may participate in this study. For information about participating, contact Dr. Rojas at 817-735-0325 (se habla español), Mabyn Hagar at 817-735-2493 or Joice Carter, RD, CDE, at 817-735-2324.

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Contact: Becky Purvis, 817-735-5152, pager: 817-216-0345 or 8172160345@archwireless.net

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