19% Asian Americans Living with Diagnosed and Undiagnosed Diabetes

Atlanta, GA–In a study published today in JAMA Internal Medicine, CDC researchers examined the percentage of people living with diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes in Hispanic and non-Hispanic Asian subpopulations. The data fill a national surveillance gap in Hispanic and Asian populations in the United States.

The percentage of adults living with diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes varied significantly by race/ethnicity and among Hispanic and non-Hispanic Asian subgroups. Broadly, the age-sex-adjusted percentage of adults living with diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes was 22% in Hispanics, 20% in non-Hispanic blacks, 19% for non-Hispanic Asians and 12% for non-Hispanic whites.

The United States is an increasingly diverse nation, as Hispanics and non-Hispanic Asians collectively now account for 23% of the US population and are expected to account for 38% by 2060, according to Census data. According to researchers, these groups may be at higher risk for type 2 diabetes due to genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors.

Among some Hispanics, the age-sex-adjusted percentage of adults living with both diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes were:

  • 25% for Mexicans
  • 22% for Puerto Ricans
  • 21% for Cuban/Dominicans
  • 19% for Central Americans
  • 12% for South Americans

Among some non-Hispanic Asians, the age-sex-adjusted percentage of adults living with both diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes were:

  • 23% for South Asians
  • 22% for Southeast Asians
  • 14% for East Asians

Consistent with previous research, Asians have lower body mass index (BMI) levels compared to other racial/ethnic groups. In this study, after adjusting for age, sex, and BMI, Southeast Asians had the highest percentages of adults living with diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes among Asian subgroups.

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