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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.

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NCAPIP coordinates the AANHPI Diabetes Coalition, bringing together researchers, health providers, and public health advocates to reduce diabetes disparities among Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.
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The “Screen at 23” campaign seeks to reveal the undiagnosed cases of diabetes (more than half, according to the NIH) among Asian Americans. By screening Asian American patients using a body mass index of 23 as per the 2015 ADA recommended guideline, thousands of cases of diabetes [approx 215,000] and even more of pre-diabetes [approx 430,000] will be unmasked.

  • An Asian American patient who appears to be at a healthy weight, and is relatively thin, could actually be at risk for developing diabetes. Previously, having a body mass index below 25 would often preclude a patient from being screened - and that's an assumption this campaign seeks to debunk.
  • Testing for diabetes at a body mass index (BMI) of 23 is a recommendation of the American Diabetes Association and has been supported by a growing body of research done at the community level. Institutions in government and non-government sectors have begun to take notice,  but we need to continue to engage the providers and patients on the importance of screening at 23 so that guidelines are put into practice and policies change.
  • Having a body mass index of 23 doesn't mean that an Asian American is "fat", "overweight", or any kind of new definition for obesity. It is a marker to be aware of for both doctors and patients however; one to consider being tested for diabetes and to think about lifestyle changes like nutrition and exercise.
  • Sign up and Endorse the campaign as a supporting organization or individual.
  • Help push the campaign forward.
  • Download the Screen at 23 package and find out more about the issue, including diabetes screening information for doctors.

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This directory includes cardiovascular disease and diabetes resources for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders, as well as the physicians who treat them. The resources included have been vetted by an expert panel of researchers, practicing physicians, dietitians, diabetes educators, and community members and evaluated based on scientific accuracy, cultural and linguistic competency, and health literacy.
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