Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 108, Issue 1, pp e36–e42 | Cite as

Diabetes among non-obese Filipino Americans: Findings from a large population-based study

  • Esme Fuller-ThomsonEmail author
  • Adity Roy
  • Keith Tsz-Kit Chan
  • Karen M. Kobayashi
Quantitative Research


OBJECTIVES: Filipino Americans form the second-largest Asian American and Pacific Islanders subgroup. Growing evidence suggests that Filipino Americans have higher rates of diabetes than non-Hispanic whites. The key objectives of this study are 1) to determine the prevalence of diabetes in non-obese Filipino Americans compared to non-obese non-Hispanic whites, and 2) to identify risk factors for diabetes in non-obese Filipino men and women.

METHODS: Secondary analysis of population-based data from combined waves (2007, 2009 and 2011) of the adult California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). The study sample was restricted to non-obese Filipino Americans (n = 1629) and non-Hispanic whites (n = 72 072).

RESULTS: Non-obese Filipino Americans had more than twice the odds of diabetes compared to non-Hispanic whites, even after correcting for several known risk factors (OR = 2.80, p < 0.001). For non-obese Filipino men, older age, poverty, cigarette smoking, and being overweight are associated with increased odds for diabetes, while older age was the only factor associated with diabetes among Filipina women.

DISCUSSION: Diabetes prevention approaches need to be targeted towards non-obese Filipino Americans, due to their high risk of diabetes.

Key Words

Diabetes Filipino Americans non-obese prevalence risk factors sex 


OBJECTIFS: Les Américains d’origine philippine forment le deuxième sous-groupe en importance des Américains d’origine asiatique et des Polynésiens. De plus en plus d’éléments indiquent que les Américains d’origine philippine ont des taux de diabète supérieurs à ceux des Blancs non hispaniques. Les principaux objectifs de notre étude étaient: 1) de déterminer la prévalence du diabète chez les Américains d’origine philippine non obèses comparativement aux Blancs non hispaniques non obèses, et 2) de cerner les facteurs de risque de diabète chez les Philippins non obèses des deux sexes.

MÉTHODE: Analyse secondaire des données populationnelles des cycles combinés (2007, 2009 et 2011) de l’enquête California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). L’échantillon de l’étude était limité aux Américains d’origine philippine non obèses (n = 1629) et aux Blancs non hispaniques (n = 72 072).

RÉSULTATS: Les Américains d’origine philippine non obèses présentaient une probabilité de diabète plus de deux fois supérieure à celle des Blancs non hispaniques, même après avoir tenu compte de plusieurs facteurs de risque connus (RC = 2,80, p< 0,001). Chez les hommes philippins non obèses, l’âge plus avancé, la pauvreté, l’usage de la cigarette et le surpoids étaient associés à une probabilité accrue de diabète, tandis que l’âge plus avancé était le seul facteur associé au diabète chez les femmes philippines.

DISCUSSION: Les stratégies de prévention du diabète doivent cibler les Américains d’origine philippine non obèses en raison de leur risque élevé de diabète.

Mots Clés

diabète Américains d’origine philippine non obèse prévalence facteurs de risque sexe 


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Esme Fuller-Thomson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Adity Roy
    • 2
  • Keith Tsz-Kit Chan
    • 3
  • Karen M. Kobayashi
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculties of Social Work & MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Institute for Life Course and AgingUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.School of Social WelfareUniversity at Albany, SUNYAlbanyUSA
  4. 4.Department of Sociology and Institute on Aging and Lifelong HealthUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

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