Diabetes: A Growing Concern in the Asian American Community



Diabetes has become an epidemic in several Asian Americans communities. Compared to the general U.S. population, Asian Americans had higher rates of new diabetes cases in the last decade. There are several types of diabetes, with type 2 diabetes the most common form (95% of the cases) of diabetes. The chapter will provide a brief overview of the types of diabetes, symptoms and criteria for diagnosis, insulin resistance that leads to the onset of diabetes, complications of diabetes, and factors (behavioral, environmental, and cultural factors) that are related to the onset of the disease and its management.


Insulin Resistance Physical Inactivity Glycemic Index High Blood Glucose Diabetes Related Complication 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Bajaj, M., & Banerji, M. A. (2004). Type 2 diabetes in South Asians: A pathophysiologic focus on the Asian-Indian epidemic. Current Diabetes Reports, 4, 213–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bhopal, R., Unwin, N., White, M., Yallop, J., Walker, L., Alberti, K. G., et al. (1999). Heterogeneity of coronary heart disease risk factors in Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and European origin populations: Cross sectional study. BMJ, 319, 215–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chandie Shaw, P. K., Vandenbroucke, J. P., Tjandra, Y. I., Rosendaal, F. R., Rosman, J. B., Geerlings, W., et al. (2002). Increased end-stage diabetic nephropathy in Indo-Asian immigrants living in the Netherlands. Diabetologia, 45, 337–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chiasson, J. L., Brindisi, M. C., & Rabasa-Lhoret, R. (2005). The prevention of type 2 diabetes: What is the evidence? Minerva Endocrinologica, 30, 179–191.Google Scholar
  5. Deurenberg, P., Yap, M., & van Staveren, W. A. (1998). Body mass index and percent body fat: A meta analysis among different ethnic groups. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, 22, 1164–1171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dhawan, J., Bray, C. L., Warburton, R., Ghambhir, D. S., & Morris, J. (1994). Insulin resistance, high prevalence of diabetes, and cardiovascular risk in immigrant Asians. Genetic or environmental effect? British Heart Journal, 72, 413–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Esperat, M. C., Inouye, J., Gonzalez, E. W., Owen, D. C., & Feng, D. (2004). Health disparities among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Annual Review of Nursing Research, 22, 135–159.Google Scholar
  8. Ford, E. S. (2005). Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome defined by the International Diabetes Federation among adults in the U.S. Diabetes Care, 28, 2745–2749.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fujimoto, W. Y., Bergstrom, R. W., Boyko, E. J., Chen, K., Kahn, S. E., Leonetti, D. L., et al. (2000). Type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome in Japanese Americans. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 50(Suppl. 2), S73–S76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hsu, W., & Yoon, H. (2007). Bridging Cultural Competency for Improved Diabetes Care: Asian Americans and Diabetes. Journal of Family Practice, September, S7–S13.Google Scholar
  11. Jonnalagadda, S. S., Diwan, S., & Cohen, D. L. (2005). U.S. Food Guide Pyramid food group intake by Asian Indian immigrants in the U.S. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 9, 226–231.Google Scholar
  12. Lee, S. K., & Cheng, Y. Y. (2006). Reaching Asian Americans: Sampling strategies and incentives. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 8, 245–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lv, N., & Cason, K. L. (2004). Dietary pattern change and acculturation of Chinese Americans in Pennsylvania. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 104, 771–778.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Manson, J. E., Colditz, G. A., Stampfer, M. J., Willett, W. C., Krolewski, A. S., Rosner, B., et al. (1991). A prospective study of maturity-onset diabetes mellitus and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke in women. Archives of Internal Medicine, 151, 1141–1147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. McNeely, M. J., & Boyko, E. J. (2004). Type 2 diabetes prevalence in Asian Americans: Results of a national health survey. Diabetes Care, 27, 66–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Merchant, A. T., Anand, S. S., Vuksan, V., Jacobs, R., Davis, B., Teo, K., et al. (2005). Protein intake is inversely associated with abdominal obesity in a multi-ethnic population. Journal of Nutrition, 135, 1196–1201.Google Scholar
  17. Misra, R., Patel, T. G., Davies, D., & Russo, T. (2000). Health promotion behaviors of Gujurati Asian Indian immigrants in the United States. Journal of Immigrant Health, 2, 223–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Misra, A., Wasir, J. S., & Vikram, N. K. (2005a). Carbohydrate diets, postprandial hyperlipidaemia, abdominal obesity and Asian Indians: A recipe for atherogenic disaster. Indian Journal of Medical Research, 121, 5–8.Google Scholar
  19. Misra, A., Wasir, J. S., & Vikram, N. K. (2005b). Waist circumference criteria for the diagnosis of abdominal obesity are not applicable uniformly to all populations and ethnic groups. Nutrition, 21, 969–976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Office of Minority Health. (2006). Asian American profile. Retrieval from
  21. Patel, J. V., Vyas, A., Cruickshank, J. K., Prabhakaran, D., Hughes, E., Reddy, K. S., et al. (2005). Impact of migration on coronary heart disease risk factors: Comparison of Gujaratis in Britain and their contemporaries in villages of origin in India. Atherosclerosis, 185(2), 297–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pradeepa, R., Deepa, R., Rani, S. S., Premalatha, G., Saroja, R., & Mohan, V. (2003). Socioeconomic status and dyslipidaemia in a South Indian population: The Chennai Urban Population Study (CUPS 11). The National Medical Journal of India, 16, 73–78.Google Scholar
  23. Raj, S., Ganganna, P., & Bowering, J. (1999). Dietary habits of Asian Indians in relation to length of residence in the United States. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 99, 1106–1108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ramachandran, A., Snehalatha, C., Shobana, R., Vidyavathi, P., & Vijay, V. (1999). Influence of life style factors in development of diabetes in Indians–scope for primary prevention. The Journal of the Association of Physicians of India, 47, 764–766.Google Scholar
  25. Ramachandran, A., Snehalatha, C., Tuomilehto-Wolf, E., Vidgren, G., Ogunkolade, B. W., Vijay, V., et al. (1999). Type 1 diabetes in the offspring does not increase the risk of parental type 2 diabetes in South Indians. Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews, 15, 328–331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Razak, F., Anand, S., Vuksan, V., Davis, B., Jacobs, R., Teo, K. K., et al. (2005). Ethnic differences in the relationships between obesity and glucose-metabolic abnormalities: A cross-sectional population-based study. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, 29, 656–667.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Snehalatha, C., Sivasankari, S., Satyavani, K., Vijay, V., & Ramachandran, A. (2000). Postprandial hypertriglyceridaemia in treated type 2 diabetic subjects –the role of dietary components. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 48, 57–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Thorpe, L. E., Berger, D., Ellis, J. A., Bettegowda, V. R., Brown, G., Matte, T., et al. (2005). Trends and racial/ethnic disparities in gestational diabetes among pregnant women in New York City, 1990-2001. American Journal of Public Health, 95, 1536–1539.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Tillin, T., Forouhi, N., Johnston, D. G., McKeigue, P. M., Chaturvedi, N., & Godsland, I. F. (2005). Metabolic syndrome and coronary heart disease in South Asians, African-Caribbeans and white Europeans: A UK population-based cross-sectional study. Diabetologia, 48, 649–656.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Tong, J., Boyko, E. J., Utzschneider, K. M., McNeely, M. J., Hayashi, T., Carr, D. B., et al. (2007). Intra-abdominal fat accumulation predicts the development of the metabolic syndrome in non-diabetic Japanese-Americans. Diabetologia, 50, 1156–1160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. World Health Organization Western Pacific Region. (2000). The Asia-Pacific perspective: Redefining obesity and its treatment. Melbourne: Health Communications.Google Scholar
  32. Yang, E. J., Chung, H. K., Kim, W. Y., Bianchi, L., & Song, W. O. (2007). Chronic diseases and dietary changes in relation to Korean Americans’ length of residence in the United States. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 107, 942–950.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health and KinesiologyCollege of Education and Human Development, Center for the Study of Health Disparities (CSHD)College StationUSA

Personalised recommendations