High prevalence of diabetes and impaired fasting glucose among chinese immigrants in New York City

Swapnil N. Rajpathak, Judith Wylie-Rosett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Asians have an increased susceptibility to type 2 diabetes, despite relatively low prevalence of obesity in this population. Asian American is a diverse population and there are yet limited data on the prevalence of diabetes among different Asian subgroups and existing studies are limited by small sample size. Hence, we conducted a cross-sectional survey to estimate the prevalence of diabetes and impaired fasting glucose (IFG) in this population among Chinese Americans, the largest Asian subgroup in the US. Our study population consisted 2,071 individuals (52.8% women; mean age: 52.7 ± 13.8 years and mean body mass index (BMI): 23.9 ± 3.2 kg/m2) living in New York City. Data on sociodemographic factors, anthropometric measurements and medical history is obtained during a 1 day clinic visit. In addition, a fasting blood sample was collected to perform measurements on plasma glucose and lipids. Diabetes was defined as self-reported treatment or a fasting glucose > 126 mg/dl) and IFG was defined as fasting glucose of 100-125 mg/dl. The age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes in this population was 8.6% and that of IFG was 34.6%. The prevalence of IFG/diabetes was high (38.3%) even among those with low BMI by Asian standards (<23.0 kg/m2) and showed a linear increasing trend with increasing waist circumference. These data suggest a high prevalence of impaired glucose regulation in Chinese immigrants even among individuals with normal BMI. Future studies should focus on evaluating the mechanisms of increased susceptibility of IFG and diabetes in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-183
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Asian
  • Chinese
  • Diabetes
  • Impaired fasting glucose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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