Division of EpidemiologyIn the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health

Faculty Profile

Maria Rosario (Happy) Araneta PhD

Maria Rosario (Happy) Araneta PhD Maria Rosario (Happy) G. Araneta PhD is a Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health. She received her BA in Biology from UCSD and her MPH and PhD in Epidemiology (with special emphasis in Perinatal Epidemiology) from Yale University. Dr. Araneta received the 2014 American Diabetes Association’s Vivian Fonseca Scholar Award for her research on diabetes among Asians and Pacific Islanders, and serves on the NIH Advisory Council for the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities.

Her research interests include maternal and pediatric HIV/AIDS, birth defects, life course exposures, and ethnic health disparities in type 2 diabetes, regional fat distribution, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic abnormalities. She is the Principal Investigator of the UCSD Filipino Health Study, a longitudinal study of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis among Filipino men and women, the UCSD PI of the Practicing Restorative Yoga vs. Stretching for the Metabolic Syndrome (PRYSMS) study, co-investigator of the Rancho Bernardo Study, where she leads research on ethnic health disparities among Caucasian, Filipino and African-American (Health Assessment Study of African-American Women) women, and a co-investigator of the Diabetes Prevention Program. She serves as a perinatal epidemiologist for the UCSD Mother, Child and Adolescent HIV Program, where she is a co-investigator on maternal and perinatal HIV studies in Mexico, and a study to reduce child abandonment and neglect among HIV positive parents. Her prior research include studies on birth defects and adverse reproductive outcomes among Gulf War veterans, HIV transmission through donor artificial insemination, and mother-to-child HIV/AIDS transmission.

Dr. Araneta is the Director of Epidemiology Courses for the UCSD CREST/MAS program where she teaches Epidemiology I and Applied Epidemiology and taught Applied Epidemiology to junior faculty in Ethiopia through the Medical Education Partnership Initiative. She teaches research principles to UCSD medical students and doctoral students in the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health.

Contact Information

9500 Gilman Dr. #0607 
La Jolla, CA, CA 92093-0607
Phone: (858) 822-3559
Email: haraneta@ucsd.edu

Select Publications

Pubmed: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=araneta+mr

Wassel CL, Laughlin GA, Araneta MRG, Kang E, Morgan CM, Barrett-Connor E, Allison MA. Associations of pericardial and intra-thoracic fat with coronary calcium presence and progression in a multi-ethnic study. Obesity 2013 Aug;21(8):1704-12

Viani RM, Araneta MR, Lopez G, Chacon-Cruz E, Spector SA. Clinical Outcomes and Hospitalizations Among Children Perinatally Infected with HIV-1 in Baja California, Mexico. J Int Assoc Physicians AIDS Care 2011;10(4):223-8

Araneta MRG, Chang HK, Grandinetti A. A1C and Diabetes Diagnosis among Filipino-Americans, Japanese-Americans, and Native Hawaiians. Diabetes Care 2010:33;2628-8

Palaniappan L, Araneta MRG, Assimes TL, Barrett-Connor EL, Carnethon MR, Criqui MH, Fung GL, Narayan V, Patel H, Taylor-Piliae RE, Wilson PWF, Wong ND. Call to Action: Cardiovascular Disease in Asian-Americans. A Science Advisory from the American Heart Association. Circulation 2010:122:1242-52

Araneta MR, von Mühlen D, Barrett-Connor E. Gender Differences in the Association Between Adiponectin and Bone Mineral Density, Bone Loss and Fractures: The Rancho Bernardo Study. J Bone Miner Res 2009;24:2016-22.

Araneta MRG and Barrett-Connor E. Adiponectin and ghrelin levels and body size in normoglycemic Filipino, African-American and Caucasian women. Obesity 2007 ;15:2454-2462.

Araneta MRG, Morton DJ, Lantion-Ang L, Grandinetti A, Lim-Abrahan MA, Chang HK, Barrett-Connor E, Rodriguez BL, Wingard DL. Hyperglycemia and type 2 diabetes among Filipino women aged 40-79 in the Philippines, Hawai’i, and San Diego. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 2006;71:306-12

Araneta MRG and Barrett-Connor. Ethnic differences in visceral fat accumulation and type 2 diabetes: Filipino, African-American and Caucasian women. Obes Res 2005;13:1458-65

Araneta MRG, Wingard DL, Barrett-Connor E. Diabetes and the Metabolic Syndrome among Filipina-American Women in San Diego County: A Non-obese high risk population. Diabetes Care 2002;25:494-499.

Araneta MRG, Mascola L, Eller A, O'Neill L, Ginsberg MM, Bursaw M, Marik J, Friedman S, Simms C, Rekart M, Collie F. HIV Transmission through Donor Artificial Insemination. JAMA 1995:273;854-858


Department of Family Medicine and Public Health
UCSD Mother, Child and Adolescent HIV Program
Clinical Research Enhancement through Supplemental Training (CREST Program)
UCSD-Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Ethiopia
Center of Excellence on Health Behaviors in Underserved and Vulnerable Communities
Center of Excellence on Women’s Health
ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Federation of Endocrine Societies

Education & Certifications

University of California San Diego, BA, Biology
Yale University, MPH, Epidemiology
Yale University, PhD, Epidemiology

Awards & Recognition

American Diabetes Association, Dr. Vivian Fonseca Scholar Award (2014)
Finalist, James G. Wilson Publication Award, The Teratology Society
Yale Fellowship Award, Yale University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
MPH with Distinction, Yale University School of Medicine

Research Interests

Ethnic health disparities, type 2 diabetes, metabolic abnormalities, cardiovascular disease, maternal and pediatric HIV, birth defects, fetal loss,

In the Media


“Studies Link Birth Defects, Gulf War”, WFAA, ABC Affiliate (Dallas, Texas) February 26, 2004
“HIV Transmission through donor artificial insemination,” CNN, March 22, 1995; MSNBC, March 15, 1995


Physician’s Weekly: Diabetics & Ethnic Minorities: Going Beyond Black & White” December 12, 2013
Nature: “Closing the Gaps: US researchers are keen to find ways to address health disparities among minorities” 2008;452;382-383
Associated Press: “Gulf War Vets’ Children have higher birth defects rates” June 3, 2003
Associated Press: “Artificial Insemination Safe But Not Totally” March 14, 1995
The New York Times: “Study Finds Antibodies for AIDS in 1 in 61 Babies in New York City” January 13, 1988

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