August 1, 2009

Diabetes and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Native Hawaiians

N. Emmett Aluli, M.D., Kristina L. Jones, MPH, Phillip W. Reyes, M.D., S. Kalani Brady, M.D., JoAnn U. Tsark, M.P.H., and Barbara V. Howard, Ph.D.

Hawai‘i Medical Journal

Objective—Diabetes is an increasing health problem among Native Hawaiians. Diabetes is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading cause of death among Native Hawaiians. In this article, the prevalence of diabetes is reported and associations with CVD risk factors are examined. Design and Methods—Cross-section of 862 Native Hawaiians, ages 19–88. Physical exam included anthropometric measures, blood pressure, glucose and lipid measures, and personal interview. Results—Age-adjusted prevalences of diabetes (25.1% in men vs. 22.6% in women) and impaired fasting glucose (IFG) (47.8% vs. 39.3%) increased with age and were higher in men. Fasting glucose was higher in diabetic men than women (209 mg/dL vs. 179, p = .0117). BMI, waist circumference, systolic blood pressure, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were higher in diabetic participants (all p < .01), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was lower (p < .005). Conclusions—Diabetes prevalence in Native Hawaiians is high. The high proportion with IFG and the increase in CVD risk factors with diabetes suggest that community-based programs are needed to focus on diabetes and diabetes-related CVD

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