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. In 2015, the scientific evidence base was considered strong enough for the American Diabetes Association to include a body mass index of 23 as a risk factor for diabetes among Asian Americans, and the cut point to use when screening for diabetes in that population.
Pacific Islanders are more than three times as likely to develop diabetes compared to Caucasian Americans, and one in five Native Hawaiians are affected by diabetes.