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NYC’s South Asians Have Highest Diabetes Rates

A new research study conducted in New York City reveals that South Asian immigrants have the highest diabetes rates among the city’s various ethnic groups. The authors used information from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The researchers found that immigrants from South Asia which includes the countries of India, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan, suffer the highest diabetes rates among all ethnic groups in the Big Apple. In fact, the South Asian rate is two times more than that of other Asians.

This study was published in Diabetes Care journal. It suggests that the standard BMI indicator cannot be used for South Asians as even those with normal BMI were also found to have high diabetes risk. The researchers say South Asians should watch their body weight carefully and get regular screenings for diabetes, even if they have normal BMI.

In New York City, diabetes was found to be more prevalent among foreign-born immigrants compared to US-born locals. 13.6% of South Asians suffered from diabetes compared to 7.4% of other Asian groups, 5.6% of US-born whites, 14.4% of US-born Hispanics and 11.8% of US-born blacks.

South Asians were found to have the rates and risk of diabetes rates in most categories of weight and BMI. Asian health experts say research should not club all Asians into one category. This research proves that there are wide differences among the various Asian ethnic groups. Therefore, they say that specific BMI criteria should be used to gauge the risk of diabetes and other ailments in South Asians.

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