People moving to new countries are at higher risk for diabetes

Ways to prevent and manage type 2 diabetes (T2D) include improving lifestyle through healthy food choices and becoming more physically active. However, for migrants, there is little information on what works to prevent and manage T2D. One possible way is for trained community health workers (also known as promotores) or peers (people from the same community) helping migrants create healthy lifestyle changes.

Migration is increasing

Around the world, the rate of migration is increasing, especially from low- and middle-income countries to higher-income countries. Most migrants and ethnic minorities are at a higher risk for long-term diseases, such as T2D. The more time migrants spend in their new country, the higher their risk. Also, migrants and ethnic minorities have trouble accessing good-quality healthcare. This raises their risk for disease and health complications even more.

Sansum Diabetes Research Institute is leading the way

Research indicates that community health workers, peer supporters, or both can improve health in people with T2D. This means there is great potential for creating programs or interventions that are culturally-appropriate, accurate, in a patient’s native language, and affordable. This could help the growing ethnic minority populations affected by diabetes around the world. Sansum Diabetes Research Institute (SDRI) is leading the way for the Hispanic/Latino community through the creation of “Especialistas,” local community health workers with additional training who conduct research, education, and care. Learn more at


Photo by Mil Familias