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2016 AANHPI Diabetes Conference

"Diabetes and Obesity in Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders: Reducing Disparities Through Research, Advocacy, Policy



According to the National Institutes of health, over half of all Asian Americans with diabetes remain undiagnosed.  Asian Americans are 60-70% more likely to have diabetes compared to Whites after adjusting for age, sex, and body mass index.  Among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, the prevalence of diabetes ranges from 8% in Hawaii, 10% in Guam, to 47% in American Samoa.

Research has given insight into the unique pathophysiology of diabetes among AANHPI. For Asian Americans, it is now reflected in certain screening guidelines that Asian Americans are at risk of developing diabetes at a lower body mass index (BMI), and many Asian subgroups have a higher proportion of visceral adipose tissue that puts them at greater risk of developing the disease even while their body weight and BMI are comparatively “normal.”Making the diagnosis earlier is critical for early treatment, prevention of prediabetes cases progressing to diabetes, the prevention of associated damaging complications such as cardiovascular diseases and kidney failure, and lowering the cost of care.  A significant portion of Asian Americans at risk for diabetes or prediabetes appear to be at a "healthy weight", and aren't being tested for, nor diagnosed with the disease. Late in 2015, the CDC and NIH released a report based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination (NHANES) that found over half of Asian Americans with diabetes are undiagnosed, with the number of undiagnosed prediabetes thought to be even higher.

Moreover, lower socioeconomic status, levels of education, and English proficiency, coupled with lack of access to culturally and linguistically appropriate health care providers and health educators, all contribute to an unrecognized diabetes epidemic in Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. There is a continued need to share the existing information with members of the medical community, with industry, and with federal stakeholders so that partnerships and opportunities can be seized to translate the science into meaningful policy and advocacy action, and to continue to fill the knowledge gaps on diabetes in AANHPI. There is still much that is unknown, and opportunities to better understand the disease and the reasons for the wide disparity.

Just as important as sharing and increasing knowledge of the science around diabetes is determining ways to best communicate that information to those who need it most, as well as to those in charge of impactful policy making in public health. When addressing these problems, it is important to focus on the best scientific evidence available and a community based approach that includes expertise in the languages and cultures of the populations affected. With over half of Asian Americans with diabetes unaware of their status, and with Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians among the populations with the highest rates of diabetes worldwide, there is a definite need to better understand diabetes, better understand how to communicate what we do know, and to alleviate this disparity that has become a global epidemic.
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Practicing Physicians on Health Reform

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Accessible and Affordable Healthcare for Asian Americans: Post-Marketplace Challenges and Recommendations from Physicians

This report documents the vital role that solo and small-practice physicians continue to play as safety net providers, particularly for underserved Asian American patients under the changing landscape of healthcare delivery.

Read or download the full report here.

Data on ACA and AANHPI

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The Impact of the ACA on Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Pakistani, & Vietnamese Americans


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Screen at 23

More than half of Asian Americans with type 2 diabetes, and even more Asian Americans with prediabetes, are undiagnosed. To make treatment, intervention, and even prevention of diabetes possible, we need to first ensure that it is revealed. We need to call for appropriate screening practices for Asian Americans. We need to screen at 23.

Sign Up, Endorse, and Share the "Screen at 23" Campaign


Lend us your Voice

Join our network and become a part of a powerful voice of AANHPI physician leaders. Become an NCAPIP Supporter or Affiliate and lend us your voice. We have achieved many successes because of supporters and affiliates like you. This year we have been successful in raising awareness of the high prevalence of diabetes within our communities. The AANHPI Diabetes Coalition, that we staff, brought a discussion of Asian BMI to national thought leaders and policymakers. We convened roundtable discussions to develop plans to eliminate health disparities and helped launched the first ever health assessment of the six Pacific Jurisdictions with a special focus on chronic diseases and diabetes.

In 2013, we began a long term partnership with the Association of American Medical Colleges. Over the next few years we are planning to launch workforce programs to support our medical students from underrepresented communities, increase the cultural competence of all future physicians and their capacity and commitment to address health disparities and practice in medically underserved communities, increase and develop AANHPI faculty and researchers engaged in academic medicine and much more.

We remain a strong voice in Washington, DC. Policymakers and the White House turn to us to better understand the impact of health policies and we bring your voice and your stories to them. We are brought to the table for discussions on key issues that impact physicians and the patients they serve. We are trusted leaders that bring a physicians voice to advocate on behalf of and with our patients.

Supporter $25/year | Affiliate $100/year | Sustaining $1,000/year

"Dollar a Day" $30/month | "Three Dollars a Day" $90/month"

NCAPIP is a GuideStar Silver-level Exchange participant
Mission Driven Advocacy
Access | Quality | Leadership



The National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians (NCAPIP) is comprised of over 8,000 physician advocates across the U.S.

As an affiliate of NCAPIP, you will have the opportunity to communicate with your legislators and administration officials about issues critical to your practice, learn about upcoming NCAPIP campaigns and become part of a powerful voice standing up for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander patients and communities.

Our affiliates work with NCAPIP and each other to advance optimal health for their patients and their community. Take action and lend us your voice. Join NCAPIP today.


Join our network and become a part of a powerful voice of AANHPI physician leaders.
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(415) 399-6565 |