Published Date: June 18, 2022

Summary: Although obesity remains relatively rare among Vietnamese Americans, the prevalence of diabetes has increased in this population. This study aims to: 1. Estimate the prevalence of diabetes among non-obese Vietnamese American adults compared to non-obese non-Hispanic whites (NHW). 2. Identify factors associated with diabetes among non-obese Vietnamese Americans. 3. Examine whether Vietnamese Americans and NHW with diabetes are equally as likely to receive optimal frequency of diabetes care (i.e., hemoglobin A1C monitoring, foot care, eye care).

Researchers conducted a secondary analysis of non-obese adult Vietnamese Americans using pooled data from the 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013–2016 waves of the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS).

Findings: Only 9% of Vietnamese Americans with diabetes are obese. Non-obese Vietnamese Americans have 60% higher adjusted odds of diabetes compared to non-obese NHW. Among non-obese Vietnamese Americans, those who were older, ever smokers and born outside the U.S. had a higher prevalence of diabetes. Researchers found both Vietnamese Americans and NHW with diabetes received similar levels of care.

Non-obese Vietnamese Americans have much higher odds of diabetes than NHW. Health professionals can effectively minimize disparities between Vietnamese Americans and NHW with diabetes through appropriate monitoring of foot care, eye care, and A1C levels. 

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