Profile of diabetes mellitus among immigrants from Guyana: Epidemiology and implications for community action

Department of Family Medicine, Ellis Hospital, Schenectady, NY 12304, USA.
Ethnicity & disease (Impact Factor: 1). 11/2012; 22(4):473-8.
Source: PubMed


Prompted by anecdotal evidence of a higher rate of type 2 diabetes, we set out to investigate the prevalence of diabetes, its risk factors, and co-morbidities among immigrant Guyanese patients being treated in a family medicine health center in Schenectady, New York.
Patients were ascertained from a registration database of all patients aged > or = 30 years who were treated from 2004 to 2006. We then conducted a detailed retrospective chart review of all Guyanese, Caucasian, African American, and Hispanic patients with diabetes and randomly selected non-diabetic controls.
Of 222 Guyanese patients, 67 (30.2%) had a diagnosis of diabetes, compared with 47/219 (21.5%) of Hispanics, 132/777 (17.0%) of African Americans, and 442/2834 (15.6%) of Caucasians (P<.0001). Compared with the other racial and ethnic groups, the Guyanese diabetic patients were significantly leaner and more likely to be male.
We found a very high prevalence of type 2 diabetes among the Guyanese patient population studied and found unique characteristics when compared with other ethnic and racial groups. These findings have alerted local clinicians to intensify diabetes screening among Guyanese patients. Furthermore, in response to these findings, a broad coalition including public health, clinical, and community groups has been established with the goal of developing culturally appropriate strategies to prevent and control diabetes among Guyanese residents.

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