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ADA Reduces BMI Screening Cut Point Recommendation for Type 2 Asian Americans

Clinicians are urged to consider testing for diabetes in all Asian American adults who present with a BMI ≥23 kg/m2…

Aligning its guidelines with evidence that Asian Americans develop type 2 diabetes at lower BMI levels than the general population, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has lowered its screening cut point recommendation, according to a position statement published in Diabetes Care.

The statement recommends clinicians consider testing for diabetes in all Asian American adults who present with a BMI ≥23 kg/m2.

The previous cut off point of a BMI of ≥25kg/ m2, was missing many Asian Americans who are at risk.

The recommendation comes after a comprehensive review and analysis. Asian Americans have twice the prevalence of type 2 diabetes compared with whites despite having lower rates of obesity under current federal BMI standards, according to the release; the position statement does not redefine overweight or obesity for Asian Americans.

The new statement highlights that the Asian American population, the largest growing ethnic group in the United States, is projected to more than double by 2060, reaching 34.4 million; its share of the US population would surge from 5.1% to 8.2% in the same period.

People with origins from the Far East (China, Japan, Korea and Mongolia), Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Laos, etc.) or the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Nepal) come under this population category.

Jane Chiang, MD, senior vice president for Medical Affairs and Community Information, ADA, said in the release, “Asian Americans are a heterogeneous group and have historically been underrepresented in studies, so it is important to keep in mind that this is just the beginning.” “Clearly, we need more research to better understand why these distinctions exist.”

Diabetes Care, Dec 2014