Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Cambodian Refugees
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To determine rates of diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia in Cambodian refugees, and to assess the proportion whose conditions are satisfactorily managed in comparison to the general population. Self-report and laboratory/physical health assessment data obtained from a household probability sample of U.S.-residing Cambodian refugees (N = 331) in 2010–2011 were compared to a probability sample of the adult U.S. population (N = 6,360) from the 2009–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Prevalence of diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia in Cambodian refugees greatly exceeded rates found in the age- and gender-adjusted U.S. population. Cambodian refugees with diagnosed hypertension or hyperlipidemia were less likely than their counterparts in the general U.S. population to have blood pressure and total cholesterol within recommended levels. Increased attention should be paid to prevention and management of diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk factors in the Cambodian refugee community. Research is needed to determine whether this pattern extends to other refugee groups.
KeywordsEpidemiology Refugees Diabetes Cardiovascular risk
This research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (R01MH059555; R01MH082069) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (R01AA013818) awarded to Grant Marshall. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the RAND Corporation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The authors express appreciation to Judy Perlman, M.A., Suzanne Perry, M.A., and the RAND Survey Research Group team for their help with data collection. We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of our interviewers to the success of this research. We particularly thank Bryant Ben who served as a community advisor. Finally, we are indebted to the research participants who made this study possible.
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