Asian-Americans have increased risk for diabetes, study finds

Feb 04, 2011

The rate of diabetes in Asian-Americans increased from 4 percent to 8 percent from 1997 to 2008, according to a recent study.

Asian-Americans are more likely than whites to have type 2 diabetes, according to a recent study by the American Diabetes Association.

The results, taken from an ongoing health study, noted that from 1997 to 2008, Asian-Americans had consistently higher type 2 diabetes rates that rose at a steady rate, reaching 8 percent, a rate 2 percent higher than the 6 percent rate of white Americans.

This finding is unexpected, given that the study found that Asian-Americans are also much less likely to be overweight, which is a well-established risk factor of diabetes. Since being overweight is not the root, researchers have linked the high diabetes rates in Asians to a combination of genetic vulnerability and poor diet. They believe that the nutritional problems may be leading to the accumulation of visceral fat, a hard abdominal fat surrounding the organs that has been linked to the development of diabetes and which Asians have in a higher proportion than both blacks and whites.

Other factors may also include physical activity, which, according to the study, is less frequent amongst Asian-born immigrants than American-born non-Asians.

The increasing prevalence of diabetes cases across both white and Asian-American communities shows the high risk of developing the illness. People should look into life insurance in case they contract the disease.  

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