Diabetes is often influenced by genetic and social determinants (such an lack of insurance, cost of meds, language barriers), and Asian Americans have been found to have higher diabetes prevalence rates of Diabetes than Whites, and comparable rates to Hispanics and African Americans. In fact, Diabetes remains the 5th leading cause of death in Asian Americans. It was discovered through the Chicago Asian Community Surveys research initiative that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in Chicago’s Asian communities is strikingly high, notably 10% in the Chinese community, 9% in the Cambodian community, and 15% in the Vietnamese community. These rates are much higher than the national rate of diabetes of 7%. Asian immigrant and refugee communities face significant barriers to accessing health programs and services, often related to cultural and linguistic differences, health insurance status, and attitudes towards the western health care system. Specific to diabetes control, members from the three communities expressed a lack of diabetes health awareness, knowledge, and literacy to effectively self-manage this chronic condition. AHC, along with community partners, use both quantitative data and supplemental qualitative data from the CACS initiative to guide the development of diabetes self-management programs (DSMP) for targeted Asian Communities.
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