Japanese Americans are the sixth largest Asian American group in the US

UVic News reports that research has found the risk of diabetes is double for Japanese Americans.

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar and is often linked to obesity.

Led by University of Victoria sociologist Karen Kobayashi, the study concluded that diabetes affects Asian Americans differently to other demographics.

Research found that Japanese Americans who are not overweight are twice as likely to develop diabetes compared to non-obese, non-Hispanic white Americans.

Kobayashi had already done research on diabetes among South Asian Americans, Korean Americans and Filipino Americans but concluded, “the new research points to the surprising conclusion that Japanese Americans are at a much higher risk of developing diabetes.”

Factors including age, sex, income, education and health behaviors were even adjusted but the conclusion was still that Japanese Americans were more likely to develop the disease.

Japanese Americans are the sixth largest Asian American group in the US, with the largest group living in California.

The six authors of the report are now calling for intervention and prevention approaches to be targeted towards non-obese Japanese Americans.

“Our findings point to the vital need for people of Japanese ancestry living in North America to receive targeted care for early detection of diabetes, including blood sugar level tests and foot exams, more frequently than is currently practiced,” said Kobayashi.