Diabetes Risk Perception Among Immigrant and Racial/Ethnic Minority Adults in the United States

Loretta Hsueh, Juan M. Peña, Adam T. Hirsh, Mary de Groot, Jesse C. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: The purpose of the study was to examine associations of immigrant and racial/ethnic status with diabetes risk perception among a population-based sample of US adults without diabetes. Racial/ethnic minorities are at increased risk of developing diabetes. Emerging research shows that immigrant (foreign born) individuals are also at increased risk, but less is understood about risk perception in this group. Methods: Respondents were 11,569 adults from the NHANES (2011-2016; National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) reporting no diabetes or prediabetes. Immigrant status was coded as foreign born or US born and analyses used NHANES racial/ethnic categories: white, black, Mexican American, other Hispanic, Asian, and other/multiracial. Immigrant status and variables comparing each minority group with whites were simultaneously entered into models predicting risk perception (yes/no), adjusting for demographic and diabetes risk factors. Results: Being foreign born was associated with decreased odds of perceived risk, while being Mexican American, Asian, and other/multiracial were associated with increased odds of perceived risk. Discussion: Foreign-born adults are less likely than US-born adults to report perceived risk for diabetes. Lower diabetes risk perception among immigrants could result in poorer preventative behaviors and later diabetes detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)642-651
Number of pages10
JournalDiabetes Educator
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)

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