July 25, 2013

Comparison of Potentially Preventable Hospitalizations Related to Diabetes Among Native Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino, and Japanese Elderly Compared with Whites, Hawai‘i, December 2006–December 2010

Tetine L. Sentell, Ph.D., Hyeong Jun Ahn, Ph.D., Deborah T. Juarez, Sc.D., Chien-Wen Tseng, M.D., John J. Chen, Ph.D., Florentina R. Salvail, M.Sc., Jill Miyamura, Ph.D., Marjorie L.M. Mau, M.D.

Preventing Chronic Disease

Introduction:  Approximately 25% of individuals aged 65 years or older in the United States have diabetes mellitus. Diabetes rates in this age group are higher for Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AA/PI) than for whites. We examined racial/ethnic differences in diabetes-related potentially preventable hospitalizations (DRPH) among people aged 65 years or older for Japanese, Chinese, Filipinos, Native Hawaiians, and whites.

Methods:  Discharge data for hospitalizations in Hawai‘i for people aged 65 years or older from December 2006 through December 2010 were compared. Annual rates of DRPH by patient were calculated for each racial/ethnic group by sex. Rate ratios (RRs) were calculated relative to whites. Multivariable models controlling for insurer, comorbidity, diabetes prevalence, age, and residence location provided final adjusted rates and RRs.

Results:  A total of 1,815 DRPH were seen from 1,515 unique individuals. Unadjusted RRs for DRPH by patient were less than1 in all AA/PI study groups compared with whites, but were highest among Native Hawaiians and Filipinos. In fully adjusted models accounting for higher diabetes prevalence in AA/PI groups, Native Hawaiian (adjusted rate ratio [aRR] = 1.59), Filipino (aRR = 2.26), and Japanese (aRR = 1.86) men retained significantly higher rates of diabetesrelated potentially preventable hospitalizations than whites, as did Filipino women (aRR = 1.61).

Conclusion:  Native Hawaiian, Filipino, and Japanese men and Filipino women aged 65 years or older have a higher risk than whites for DRPH. Health care providers and public health programs for elderly patients should consider effective programs to reduce potentially preventable hospitalizations among Native Hawaiian, Filipino, and Japanese men and Filipino women aged 65 years or older.

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