April 2010
Volume 51, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2010
The Need for Diabetes Education in South Asians in United States
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • S. Singh
    Medicine, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, India
  • G. Wu
    Ophthalmology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California
  • J. Song
    Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  S. Singh, None; G. Wu, None; J. Song, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  None.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2010, Vol.51, 4678. doi:
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      S. Singh, G. Wu, J. Song; The Need for Diabetes Education in South Asians in United States. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):4678.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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The Asian population in the United States has grown to 4%, accordingto Census 2008. The South Asian population comprises 1.6 millionpeople(16.3% of all Asian subgroups). South Asians have thehighest ethnic -specific prevalence of diabetes compared withall other Asian subgroups due to their adverse body compositionand metabolic profile.


To investigate Diabetes Mellitus health literacy in the SouthAsians (SA) in California.


South Asians were given a questionnaire (QN) of 11 questionscovering the various aspects of DM: definition, frequency ofvisits to a physician, health risks and family history. Thesame QN was administered to a cohort of Caucasians(C). QN weredistributed at the Indian Temples, South Asian shopping malls.


200 QN were analyzed: 100 SA QN (average age=45.8yrs +/-12.6)100 C QN (average age =42.1yrs+/- 17.2)(p=n.s.). Age matchingof 77 QN yielded similar results.  



In our study, a majority of the South Asians visit their physiciansand eye care practitioners less frequently, know less aboutdiabetic blindness, and the importance of weight loss in DiabetesMellitus. Thus the study suggests that the South Asians wouldbenefit from active public awareness campaigns about diabetesand ophthalmic side effects.

Keywords: diabetes • clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: health care delivery/economics/manpower • diabetic retinopathy 

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