Teresa Hillier, MD, MS: Ethnicity plays a role in the development of gestational diabetes for Chinese and Korean-Americans
By: Felicia Breedy
Teresa Hillier, MD, MS, a former American Diabetes Association funded researcher, has co-authored a study highlighted in the December 14, 2009 issue of Medical News Today. The study found that more than 10% of women of Chinese and Korean heritage may be at risk for developing diabetes during pregnancy. The study also found that Korean-American and Chinese-American women have a risk of one-third higher than average and more then double that of Caucasian and African-American women. Pacific Islander, Filipinos, Puerto Ricans, and Samoans are also at the than average risk while Caucasians, Native Americas, and African-Americas have a lower than average risk. Dr. Hillier states, “Many previous studies have lumped all Asians and Pacific Islanders together; now we know that the risk for developing Gestation Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) varies greatly depending on your specific ethnic background.”
With funding from her Clinical Translational Research Award, Dr. Hillier examined 16,000 women in Hawaii because it is one the most ethnically diverse populations in the world. Previous studies have shown that GDM is more prevalent among Asians and Pacific Islanders and this is the first study to sub-categorize the ethnic groups. The evidence supports some differences among the Asian groups that are divided into five ethnic sub-groups. Korean, Chinese, and Filipinos and have the greatest risk of developing GDM. Among the three groups of Pacific Islander, Samoans and other Pacific Islanders (including women from Fiji and Tahiti), they have a higher than average risk. Native Hawaiians are at an average risk while Japanese, Vietnamese, Native Americas and African-Americans have the lowest risk of developing GDM.
As another co-author explains, “This study has important implications for the diagnosis and treatment of gestational diabetes. All pregnant women and their caregivers need to be educated about gestational diabetes, but it is especially important for women in these ethnic groups at higher risk.”
(Pedula, K, Hillier, TA, Schmidt, M, Mullen, J, Charles, M-A, Pettitt, D. Korean-American & Chinese-American Women at Highest Risk for Developing Diabetes During Pregnancy. Ethnicity and Disease. http://www.kpchr.org/research/public/News.aspx?NewsID=44)
Check out our FREE program for tips on living with type 2.
Help us raise $1 million for diabetes research and other essential programs.
New tools for meal preparation made easy!
Bee Well for Life gives fitness tips and helps Stop Diabetes!
Great recipes tap the salad bar, deli, and freezer case to get food on the table.
Learn to make delicious vegetarian dishes with this easy-to-follow cookbook.
Celebrate the holidays with Diabetes Forecast! Best deal–order today!
Food is an important part of the African American culture. See our recipes.
Stay on track with our holiday meal planning tips. Recipes everyone will enjoy!
Was your child recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes? Order this free kit.
This personal tracking program is key to diabetes management.
Watch our Stop Diabetes PSA and share with your friends and family.
Recipes for Healthy Living, a holiday survival guide & more!
Get helpful tips for stress-free traveling with diabetes.
Check out our parent mentor volunteer program full of parents just like you!