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Prev Med. 2009 Aug-Sep;49(2-3):265-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2009.07.001. Epub 2009 Jul 9.

Gestational diabetes mellitus: all Asians are not alike.

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Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, USA.



To estimate the prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) prevalence estimates for subgroups of US Asian and Pacific Islander (API) women by using data from 2005 and 2006 birth certificates.


Using 2005-2006 natality files from states that implemented the revised 2003 US birth certificate, which differentiates between GDM and preexisting diabetes (2005: 12 states; 2006: 19 states), we calculated age-adjusted GDM prevalence estimates for API mothers who delivered singleton infants.


Among 3,108,877 births, US APIs had a substantially higher age-adjusted prevalence of GDM (6.3%) than whites (3.8%), blacks (3.5%), or Hispanics (3.6%). Among API subgroups, age-adjusted GDM prevalence varied significantly, from 3.7% among women of Japanese descent to 8.6% among women of Asian Indian descent. Foreign-born APIs had significantly higher GDM rates than US-born APIs except among women of Japanese and Korean ancestry.


Overall, US API women have the highest risk for GDM among all US racial/ethnic groups. However, APIs are a heterogeneous group by genetic background, culture, and diet and other lifestyle behaviors. Our findings imply that, whenever possible, API subgroups should be evaluated separately in health research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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