UA Sleep Researcher Receives $3.6M Grant to Study Sleep Health on U.S.-Mexico Border

Michael A. Grandner, PhD, MTR, director of the University of Arizona Sleep and Health Research Program, has been awarded a $3.6 million grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to study sleep and health along the U.S-Mexico border.

NoCheS logoDr. Grandner, also an assistant professor in the UA Department of Psychiatry, is principal investigator of the Nogales Cardiometabolic Health and Sleep Study, or NoCHeS, which seeks to learn more about sleep health and sleep disorders in the border region, how sleep issues are related to social, behavioral and environmental factors and their potential role in regard to risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Dr. Grandner, who also holds faculty appointments with the UA Sarver Heart Center and the UA departments of medicine, psychology and nutritional sciences, will partner with "promotoras" from the Mariposa Community Health Center in Nogales, Ariz., to study sleep health, cardiometabolic disease risk and psychosocial stress among 1,100 adults living along the U.S.-Mexico border.
"The University of Arizona’s mandate is to serve Arizona, and in the health sciences this includes addressing health disparities and improving health along our border," said UA President Robert C. Robbins, MD. "The relationship between sleep and cardiovascular disease risk factors is an important area of research, especially with so many people across the world affected by heart disease. I look forward to learning what Dr. Grandner and this interdisciplinary team is able to discover."

Co-investigators on grant: Drs. Parthasarathy, Haynes, Ingram and RuizOther UA collaborators on this project include Sairam Parthasarathy, MD, professor of medicine and director of the UA Health Sciences Center for Sleep and Circadian Science; Patricia Haynes, PhD, associate professor of health promotion sciences at the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health; John Ruiz, PhD, associate professor of psychology and director of the Social Risk and Resilience Factors Lab; and Maia Ingram, MPH, co-director of the Arizona Prevention Research Center and program director of Community-based Evaluation Projects.

Other collaborators on this research are Orfeu Buxton, PhD, of Penn State University and Sanjay Patel, MD, of the University of Pittsburgh.

"Sleep is an important part of overall health," Dr. Grandner said. "Studying how issues such as acculturation, stress, socioeconomics and other factors impact sleep disturbances in this community, and how these then in turn become risk factors for cardiometabolic disease, will advance our understanding of border health disparities and help us develop better targeted interventions to help this community."

Common sleep problems such as insufficient sleep, insomnia and sleep apnea have been linked with cardiometabolic risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, inflammation and diabetes, Dr. Grandner said.

"The degree to which sleep disturbances may play a role in health disparities for Mexican Americans, and the influence of social-environmental factors, is unknown. This study will move us closer to being able to make a real impact in the community," Dr. Grandner said.

For more information about NoCHeS and the Sleep and Health Research Program, please visit

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award No. R01MD011600. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences

The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UA Health Sciences includes the UA Colleges of Medicine (Phoenix and Tucson), Nursing, Pharmacy and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the UA Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research, patient care and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the UA Health Sciences employs approximately 4,000 people, has approximately 800 faculty members and garners more than $140 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn)

Release Date: 
05/14/2018 - 2:30am
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