HEALTH in FOCUS
In our TODAY in HEALTH section, check out the most current information, resources, and position statements on the clinical health issues affecting Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. Check back for updated information on the key issues of hepatitis B, cancer, mental health, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Our RESOURCES section connects you to national organizations and federal agencies that serve Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.
Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) patients should talk to their health care providers about diabetes and routine screening. Diabetes is a serious health concern, with Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations especially at risk. There is a startling 47% diabetes prevalence in American Samoans, 20% diabetes prevalence in Native Hawaiians, and 10% among Asian Americans, compared with 8% of the US general population.
Although Asian Americans have a lower body weight, they are twice as likely to develop diabetes compared to Caucasian Americans. Even a small amount of weight gain above Western standards greatly increases the risk of developing diabetes; the accepted standard for BMI is not, therefore, a good benchmark for people of Asian descent to measure risk for developing the disease.
During regular annual check-up, patients should ask for screenings for diabetes, which are critical to prevention, early detection, and better health outcomes.
Links on Diabetes:
- AANHPIDC - The Asian American Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islanders Diabetes Coalition
- AANHPI Community Programs "In My Community"
- Asian American Diabetes Initiative - Joslin Diabetes Center
- American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin
- Indian Foods: AAPI's Guide to Health, Nutrition and Diabetes
- AAPCHO - Diabetes Initiatives and Briefs
- NDEP Strategic Plan
- Pathophysiologic Differences Among Asians, Native Hawaiians, and Other Pacific Islanders and Treatment Implications
- Understanding and Addressing Unique Needs of Diabetes in Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders
- Type 2 Diabetes: An Epidemic Requiring Global Attention and Urgent Action
- Elevated Rates of Diabetes in Pacific Islanders and Asian Subgroups
- Your Job, Your Rights (English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean)
- Health Reform and Diabetes (English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean)
Routine screening and vaccination for Hepatitis B is vital for Asian and Pacific Islanders, and a crucial component of good primary care. A one-time check of HBsAg and HBsAb should be done for all Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants. With over 250 million Asians infected worldwide, many pass Hepatitis B to their children unknowingly. Unaware that they have been infected, one out of 12 Asians and Pacific Islanders lives with this chronic infection that, if not monitored, could lead to liver cancer or liver failure.
Links on Hepatitis B:
- Asian Liver Center - Stanford School of Medicine
- HepB Free San Francisco
- ThinkB - American Liver Foundation
- American Liver Foundation - Resources
- AAPCHO - Hepatitis B Information
- AAPCHO - Hepatitis B Policy and Advocacy
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations
The Office of Minority Health
National Medical Association
Asian Health Coalition of Illinois
American Medical Association
International Medical Graduates Section (AMA)
Federal Drug Administration
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