Date of Conferral





Public Health


Roland J. Thorpe


Diabetes is a disease that affects the Hispanic population in disproportionate numbers. With larger numbers of immigrants coming to the United States who are of Hispanic origin, the individual risk and health burden of this disease will have a major impact on the quality of life and the health care system. Research into the influence of the timing of changes in lifestyle suggested an association between specific levels of socioecological exposures and certain health conditions. This study examined that possibility. The use of the National Health Interview Survey, 2005-2011, provided adequate data for examining whether age at migration was associated with self-reported diabetes; if there was a relationship between age at migration, diabetes, and obesity; and, if the age at migration-diabetes relationship differed depending on the Hispanic subgroup. It was a quantitative, cross-sectional study using a logistic regression. The outcomes indicated that migration early in life influenced diabetes diagnosis in later life and, with the addition of obesity to the model, the relationship between age at migration and diabetes persisted. This research can be a catalyst for social change in allowing for the identification of individuals most at risk, the timeframes for that increased risk, and a better understanding of the factors that predispose individual to diabetes. Public policy initiatives to target specific time periods can provide avenues for social change among this population with preventive measures to reduce long-term negative consequences of diabetes, thus improving quality of life and providing a more effective use of the health care system.