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J Diabetes Complications. 2005 Mar-Apr;19(2):101-6.

Diabetes-related comorbidities in Asian Americans: results of a national health survey.

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Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.



The aim of this study was to compare the prevalence of diabetes-related comorbidities in Asian Americans to the prevalence in other racial and ethnic groups in the United States using data from the 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).


The BRFSS is a population-based telephone survey of the health status and health behaviors of 212,510 Americans aged > or = 18 years in all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 2001, participants included 196 Asian Americans, 1138 African Americans, 1276 Hispanics, 294 Native Americans, 71 Pacific Islanders, and 7799 non-Hispanic Whites with a self-reported physician diagnosis of diabetes. Comorbidity was determined by self-report. Odds ratios (OR) were adjusted for age, sex, body mass index (BMI) or height and weight, duration of diabetes, smoking, and health-insurance status.


The adjusted prevalences of hypercholesterolemia and retinopathy were similar across groups. Relative to Asian Americans, only African Americans were more likely to report hypertension [adjusted OR=2.1, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.0-4.2, P<.05]. Higher odds of current or past foot ulceration was observed for Hispanics (adjusted OR=2.8, 95% CI=1.2-6.9), Native Americans (adjusted OR=4.2, 95% CI=1.4-12.8), and Pacific Islanders (adjusted OR=7.4, 95% CI=1.3-41.2) compared with Asian Americans.


Among Americans with diabetes, Asian Americans have a prevalence of hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, retinopathy, and foot ulceration that is similar to that in Whites. Asian Americans had a significantly lower prevalence of hypertension than African Americans did and a lower prevalence of foot ulceration than Hispanics, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders did.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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