Are vegetarian Asian Indians at lower risk for diabetes and metabolic syndrome than non-vegetarians?
Objective: The data from Diabetes among India Americans [DIA] study was used to explore if vegetarian AIs were at lower risk for diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity as compared to the non-vegetarian AIs, after controlling for demographics [age, gender, income, education, tobacco use, access to health care, marital status, obesity, family history of diabetes], dietary habits, physical activity, acculturation [years of residency, English language proficiency, ethnic language/food preference] and clinical risk factors [blood pressure, homocysteine, lipoprotein a, C Reactive Protein, HDL and LDL].
Methods: The sample comprised of 1038 randomly selected Asian Indian immigrants, aged 18 years and older in seven US sites. Prevalence of diabetes and metabolic syndrome was estimated and Obesity was calculated using the WHO Asian criteria. Multivariate analysis included binomial and multinomial logistic regression.
Results: The mean age was 48.2 years. The majority of respondents were vegetarians [62%], married, educated, and with some form of health insurance. Prevalence of diabetes was 17.4%, metabolic syndrome was 38.2% [International Diabetes Federation criteria], and 48% were obese. Vegetarian status was a protective factor and lowered the risk for diabetes and metabolic syndrome, but not obesity. The other variables that were significantly protective in lowering the risk factors for chronic diseases were higher income, HDL cholesterol, a healthy dietary habit, lower blood pressure and lipoprotein a; risk factors included older age, family history of diabetes and higher C Reactive Protein.
Conclusion: A vegetarian diet was a protective factor for chronic diseases in this high-risk group. Results provide a firm basis for future interventional studies.
Learning Areas:Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the vegetarian dietary patterns among immigrant Asian Indians in the U.S. List the differences in chronic diseases among vegetarian and non-vegetarian Asian Indians. Discuss if vegetarian dietary patter is a protective factor in reducing diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity among participants.
Keyword(s): Chronic Diseases, Dietary Assessment
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Misra is a Professor and Director of the Public Health Practice program at West Virginia University School of Public Health. She is a well-known international health disparities researcher with a background in nutrition and terminal degree in Public Health. Her research investigations include clinical and non-clinical risk factors (individual, psychosocial, environmental/ contextual) that impact disparities in prevalence and management of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease in multi-ethnic populations (Asians, Hispanics, and African Americans).
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.