High Rates of Diabetes Mellitus, Pre-diabetes and Obesity Among Somali Immigrants and Refugees in Minnesota: A Retrospective Chart Review

Jane W. Njeru, Eugene M. Tan, Jennifer St. Sauver, Debra J. Jacobson, Amenah A. Agunwamba, Patrick M. Wilson, Lila J Rutten, Swathi Damodaran, Mark L. Wieland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors among Somali refugees at a midwestern hospital in the U.S. This was a retrospective cohort study of 1007 adult Somali patients and an age and frequency-matched cohort of non-Somali patients actively empanelled to a large, academic primary care practice network in the Midwest United States between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2012. Cardiovascular risk factors were obtained by chart review and compared between the two cohorts using a Chi squared test. Median age was 35 years (Q1, Q3; 27, 50). The prevalence of diabetes was significantly higher among Somali versus non-Somali patients (12.1 vs 5.3 %; p = 0.0001), as was prediabetes (21.3 vs 17.2 %; p <0.02) and obesity (34.6 vs 32.1 %; p = 0.047). After adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, education and employment, among the Somali patients, the odds ratio (95 % confidence interval) for diabetes was 2.78 (1.76–4.40) and 1.57 (1.16–2.13) for pre-diabetes. There was a significantly higher prevalence of diabetes, pre-diabetes and obesity among Somali patients compared with non-Somali patients. Further research into the specific causes of these disparities and development of targeted effective and sustainable interventions to address them is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Sep 28 2015

Keywords

  • Cardiovascular risk factors
  • Diabetes
  • Prediabetes
  • Somali

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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