Background: People with diabetes (DM) are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Although Native American groups have been identified to have among the highest prevalences of DM, such as those located in Arizona, Oklahoma, and North/South Dakota, there is a lack of population data on DM and its cardiovascular risk factor correlates in Native Americans. We sought to examine the prevalence and its cardiovascular risk factor correlates in Native Americans residing in California.
Methods: In the California Health Interview Survey 2005 (CHIS), we examined in adults aged ≥18 years (n = 43,020 projected to 26.4 million, 50.9% female) the prevalence and risk factor correlates of DM, based on self-reported telephone interview information available from CHIS.
Results: Among all ethnic groups, the prevalence of DM was highest in Native Americans (14.9%), compared to 10.1% in African Americans, 8.0% in Hispanics, 6.5% in Asians, and 6.0% in Caucasians. From multiple logistic regression, after adjusting for age, gender, other risk factors, and lifestyle characteristics, Native Americans still had the highest likelihood of DM [odds ratio (OR) = 3.09, confidence interval (CI), 1.92-4.96], P < 0.01, when compared to Caucasians). Among adults with DM, Native Americans had the highest prevalence of high cholesterol (42.1%). Age, male gender, lower intake of vegetables and fruits, and high blood pressure were the most important indicators of DM in Native Americans.
Conclusions: California Native American adults are more likely to have DM compared to other ethnicities. Education on prevention and further investigation are needed.