270590 Assimilation to the US and diabetes risk in NYC Chinese immigrants

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 8:45 AM - 9:00 AM

Aimee Afable-Munsuz, PhD, MPH , Department of Community Health Sciences, SUNY Downstate School of Public Health, Brooklyn, NY
Ming-Chin Yeh, PhD , Nutrition and Food Science Program, CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College, Hunter College, City University of New York, New York, NY
Tushar Trivedi, MD, MPH(c) , Department of Community Health Sciences, SUNY Downstate School of Public Health, Brooklyn, NY
Judith Wylie-Rosett, EdD, RD , Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
BACKGROUND Evidence on whether US assimilation contributes to a heightened risk of diabetes in immigrants is equivocal. We examine this question in a population of Chinese immigrants, the second largest US immigrant group.

METHODS The Chinese American Cardiovascular Health Assessment is a cross-sectional study of 2,071 Chinese immigrants living in New York City, funded by NHLBI in 2009. Diabetes was defined as self-reported treatment for diabetes or fasting glucose >=126 mg/dl. A food frequency questionnaire, adapted for Chinese populations, assessed diet and Global Physical Activity Questionnaire assessed physical activity (MET-min/week). Assimilation was operationalized as number of years in the US and age at migration. Logistic regression modeled diabetes risk; additional covariates include age, sex, occupation, educational level, insurance status, and waist circumference.

RESULTS Diabetes prevalence increased with increasing time in the US. Prevalence was 7%, 9% and 16% among adults who lived in the US <= years, 6-15 years, and >15 years, respectively. A significant and graded increase in diabetes risk with increasing time in the US remained after adjusting for age, education, and insurance status. In bivariate analysis, total calories did not vary by time in the US. Total physical activity (METs-min/week), however, decreased significantly with increasing time in the US.

CONCLUSION We add to evidence on the adverse effects of US assimilation on diabetes risk. Our findings highlight the need to examine more closely unique aspects of urban environments that might accelerate diabetes development in US immigrants, particularly factors that may discourage physical activity.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1) Discuss the current evidence on US assimilation and diabetes risk in US immigrants. 2) Assess whether US assimilation is associated with diabetes risk in Chinese immigrants, in particular.

Keywords: Diabetes, Immigrants

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, SUNY Downstate School of Public Health. My scientific interest and expertise over the past few years has been in the area of migration and chronic disease risk.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.