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 parent mentor volunteer program full of parents just like you!
Become a Red Strider! Know someone with diabetes? Walk for them!
Every dollar you give can be doubled until May 15th to help Stop Diabetes!
Scroll through our calendar of EXPOs to find out when there will be one near you.
Ditch the chips! We've got recipes for eight healthy snacks you'll love to eat.
Learn what BIG discounts on auto insurance may await you.
Get motivated with our newly revised “I Hate to Exercise” book
Subscribe to our blog! It’s the best way to see what we’re up to at the Association.
If you have diabetes, join us for the ride!
Order your Diabetes Forecast® today! 25 Tips to healthy living. Click here to start.
Check out our site full of vegetarian meal planning ideas!
Find your local office to get involved in your community.
A new tool to increase the convenience of portion management
Get recipes, tips and more! Join the conversation!
Learn more about Dribble to Stop Diabetes