Prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Cambodia vs. the Prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Cambodian Emigrants Living in Long Beach, California: An Urbanization Effect Analysis

Stringham, Jack; Jerman, Jonathan D.; Abel, E. Dale; Baker, Mark; Christensen, Melissa; Ericksen, Andrew; Evans, Tyler; Stringham, Thomas R.
June 2007
Diabetes;Jun2007 Supplement 1, Vol. 56, pA244
Academic Journal
The prevalence of diabetes among Asia-Pacific (specifically IndoChina) populations has been well documented. However, reliable data on the prevalence of diabetes in Cambodia remains sparse despite a genetic predisposition in this population. Moreover, the impact of urbanization within this gene pool remains poorly characterized. We performed a comparative study of the urbanized and industrialized population of Cambodian emigrants in Long Beach, California and the Cambodian population in Phnom Penh, the capitol city of Cambodia. 1037 randomly selected adults aged 40 years and older were examined in Phnom Perth. 384 randomly selected Cambodian adults aged 40 years and older were examined in Long Beach, California. Diabetes was diagnosed if a random blood glucose was 200 mg/dL or if an individual had a previous diagnosis of diabetes and was currently using hypoglycemic medication, regardless of his/her current blood glucose level. Weight, height, waist circumference, BMI, and other relevant information were also obtained. The prevalence of diabetes was 10.99% in Phnom Penh versus 22.40% in Long Beach (p<0.0003). Diabetics in Long Beach had lower estimates of waist circumference (85.52 cm) than those in Phnom Penh (88.31 cm) (p<0.0001). The average BMI of those with diabetes in Long Beach was 25.43 Kg/m∧2 and in Cambodia, 24.69 Kg/m∧2 (p<0.0001). Thus the prevalence of Diabetes among the Long Beach Cambodian counterparts is significantly higher and tracks with greater BMI. Despite the fact that Phnom Penh is considered an urbanized city in Cambodia, it remains relatively preserved in terms of Cambodian tradition, foods, and activity levels when compared to Long Beach. Long Beach represents an environment that may accurately aid in understanding the future effects of urbanization in Cambodia and perhaps in other Asia-Pacific cultures.


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