Gender and ethnic differences in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes among Asian subgroups in California

J Diabetes Complications. Sep-Oct 2013;27(5):429-35. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2013.01.002. Epub 2013 Jun 4.


Aims: To investigate gender and ethnic type 2 diabetes (DM) prevalences among California Asian subgroups versus other ethnic groups and if risk factors explain these differences.

Methods: We identified the prevalence of DM and associated risk factors, stratified by gender, among Chinese, Filipino, South Asian, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Mexican, Other Hispanic, African-American, Caucasian, and Native American adults in a large survey conducted in 2009 (n=46,091, projected n=26.6 million).

Results: The highest age-adjusted DM prevalence was seen in Native Americans (32.4%), Filipinos (15.8%), and Japanese (11.8%) among men and in Native Americans (16.0%) and African-Americans (13.3%) among women. Caucasian and Mexican men had higher DM prevalences than women. Age and risk factor-adjusted logistic regression showed DM more likely (relative to Caucasians) among women in Koreans (OR=4.6, p<0.01), Native Americans (OR=3.0, p<0.01), and Other Hispanics (OR 2.9, p<0.01) and among men in Filipinos (OR=7.0, p<0.01), South Asians (OR=4.7, p<0.01), and Native Americans (OR=4.7, p<0.01). No specific risk factors accounted for the gender differences.

Conclusions: Ethnic and gender differences in DM prevalence persist, even after adjusting for lifestyle and other risk factors; prevalence is high among certain Asian American subgroups. Different diabetes prevention approaches may be needed across ethnic/gender groups.

Keywords: Ethnicity; Gender difference; Risk factors; Type 2 diabetes prevalence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • California / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology
  • Ethnic Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Young Adult