Undiagnosed Hypertension and Undiagnosed Type 2 Diabetes among Overweight and Obese Marshallese Participants in a Diabetes Prevention Program

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Yale J Biol Med. 2021 Mar 31;94(1):5-12. eCollection 2021 Mar.


Hypertension and type 2 diabetes (T2D) are major public health issues that disproportionately affect minority communities, including Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI). Minority communities are also more likely to have undiagnosed hypertension and T2D. Marshallese Pacific Islanders have been shown to have high proportions of diagnosed and undiagnosed hypertension and T2D. Using survey and biometric data collected from 378 overweight/obese Marshallese Pacific Islander adults, this study documents the prevalence of hypertension and T2D, as well as the prevalence of undiagnosed hypertension and T2D. The study also examines associations between undiagnosed hypertension and undiagnosed T2D and age group, sex, health care access (defined by foregone care due to cost and health insurance status), and body mass index (BMI). Among participants with blood pressure readings indicative of hypertension, 68.4% were undiagnosed, and among participants with HbA1c indicative of T2D, 31.6% were undiagnosed. A quarter of participants (24.5%) had blood pressure and HbA1c measures indicative of both undiagnosed hypertension and undiagnosed T2D. Undiagnosed hypertension was significantly associated with age group (p’s<0.0001) and sex (p=0.028). Undiagnosed T2D was significantly associated with age group (p’s<0.05), forgone care due to cost (p=0.018), health insurance status (p=0.035), and BMI (p=0.001). Participants in this study had high proportions of undiagnosed hypertension and undiagnosed T2D. These findings will be immediately useful for those working to address hypertension and T2D disparities among Marshallese and other NHPI populations.

PMID:33795978 | PMC:PMC7995951