Barriers to early diagnosis and management of diabetes in Asian Americans
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is endemic to the United States and poses a serious threat to its citizens. Diabetes affects approximately 10% of the Asian American population despite their lower body weight, with most cases being type 2 diabetes mellitus (Hung et al., 2013). Early detection of diabetes is imperative to prevent serious lifelong complications such as neuropathy, Coronary Artery Disease, and nephropathy. However, there is a disparity in the time it takes for America’s Asian population to be diagnosed with diabetes for a multitude of reasons. For example, Asian Americans typically present with a lower or normal BMI and with a younger onset of disease (Hsu et al., 2011). Further, the rate of undiagnosed diabetes amongst Asian Americans is nearly three times as high as in non-Hispanic whites, which suggests that diabetes screening among this population is insufficient (Tung et al., 2016). An integrative review was conducted to try to explain the cause of the time lag in diagnosis of diabetes for Asian Americans and attempt to find new parameters to implement in the diagnosis process so that earlier diagnoses can be made, allowing for more effective diabetes management and lessening the long term complications.