Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chinese-American and Korean-American women at highest risk for diabetes in pregnancy

Date:
December 31, 2009
Source:
Kaiser Permanente
Summary:
A new study found more than 10 percent of women of Chinese and Korean heritage may be at risk for developing diabetes during pregnancy. The first of its kind, the 10-year study of 16,757 women and 22,110 pregnancies in Hawaii found that Chinese-American and Korean-American women's gestational diabetes risk is one-third higher than average -- and more than double that of Caucasian and African-American women.

More than 10 percent of women of Chinese and Korean heritage may be at risk for developing diabetes during pregnancy, according to a Kaiser Permanente study of 16,000 women in Hawaii that appears in the December issue of the Ethnicity and Disease journal. The study also found that Korean-American and Chinese-American women's gestational diabetes risk is one-third higher than average -- and more than double that of Caucasian and African-American women.

Funded by the American Diabetes Association, the study found that Pacific Islanders, Filipinos, Puerto Ricans, and Samoans are also at higher-than-average risk -- while Caucasian, Native-American, and African-American women have a lower-than-average risk.

Untreated gestational diabetes mellitus can lead to serious pregnancy and birthing complications, including early delivery and C-sections. It can also increase the child's risk of developing obesity later in life.

While previous studies have shown that GDM is more prevalent among Asian women and Pacific Islanders, this is the first study to separate those ethnic groups into sub-categories to find out who is at higher risk. Researchers chose Hawaii for the study because it has one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the world.

Researchers divided Asians into five ethnic sub-groups and found some striking differences: Korean and Chinese women have the greatest risk of developing GDM. Filipinos are next, but Japanese and Vietnamese women have the same risk as the rest of the population. Among three groups of Pacific Islanders, Samoans and other Pacific Islanders (including women from Fiji and Tahiti) have a higher-than-average risk, while women classified as Native Hawaiians are at average risk.* Caucasian, Native-American, and African-American women have the lowest risk for developing GDM.

"This study has important implications for diagnosis and treatment of gestational diabetes," said study lead author Kathryn Pedula, MS, a researcher at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research. "All pregnant women and their caregivers need to be educated about gestational diabetes, but it is especially important for women in these ethnic groups at higher risk."

"Many previous studies have lumped all Asians and Pacific Islanders together---we now know that the risk for developing GDM varies greatly depending on your specific ethnic background," said study co-author Teresa Hillier, MD, MS, an endocrinologist and senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research. "Future studies should also look at whether women in these higher risk groups also have more complications."

This study involved 16,757 women aged 13-39, who gave birth in the Kaiser Permanente Health Plan in Hawaii between 1995 and 2003. Some women had more than one child during that time, bringing the total number of pregnancies to 22,110. Researchers obtained ethnic classification from the mothers' birth certificates on file with the Hawaii Department of Health.

All women in the Kaiser Permanente system are screened for gestational diabetes between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. If they have GDM, they are treated as part of routine care. More than 20 percent of women in the study had elevated glucose levels, and 6.7 percent of women met the Carpenter and Coustan threshold for gestational diabetes.

"This study underscores Kaiser Permanente's commitment to identify differences in risk and clinical outcomes for different ethnic and racial groups," said Winston F. Wong, MD, MS, medical director of Kaiser Permanente's Community Benefit Disparities Improvement and Quality Initiatives. "While we cannot eliminate the increased risk of prenatal diabetes among our Korean and Chinese patients, we use this kind of research to alert and empower our health care professionals and physicians to reduce disparities and achieve the best possible outcomes for our patients and their children."

Study authors include Kathryn L. Pedula, MS, and Teresa A. Hillier, MD, MS, from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore.; Mark M. Schmidt, BA, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Honolulu; Judith A. Mullen, APRN, BC,CDE, Kaiser Permanente, Honolulu, Hawaii; Marie-Aline Charles, MD, MPH, INSERM, Paris, France; and David J. Pettitt, MD, Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, Santa Barbara, Calif.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kaiser Permanente. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Kaiser Permanente. "Chinese-American and Korean-American women at highest risk for diabetes in pregnancy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091211074429.htm>.
Kaiser Permanente. (2009, December 31). Chinese-American and Korean-American women at highest risk for diabetes in pregnancy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091211074429.htm
Kaiser Permanente. "Chinese-American and Korean-American women at highest risk for diabetes in pregnancy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091211074429.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins