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Diabetes is a disease that causes blood sugar levels to be too high. Over time high blood sugar levels can hurt many parts of your body, such as your skin, mouth, kidneys, heart, nerves, eyes, and feet. It can even cause death.
Type 2 diabetes — the most common type of diabetes — is a growing problem throughout the Pacific Islands. For instance, Native Hawaiians between the ages of 19 and 35 are more than five times as likely as same-age non-Hawaiians to have diabetes. The reasons for this health disparity are not clearly understood. Yet, Pacific peoples have many risk factors for diabetes, such as high rates of obesity.
You can't control some risk factors for type 2 diabetes, such as your age, race, or family history. But you can prevent or delay developing type 2 diabetes by taking these steps:
You could have type 2 diabetes and not know it. Type 2 diabetes sometimes has no warning signs. Talk to your doctor about diabetes in your family. Get your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels checked regularly, as advised by your doctor. If you find out you have diabetes, you can take steps to manage the disease and live a full and active life. Making healthy eating and physical activity a regular part of your family life also will help to lower your loved ones' risk of diabetes.
There are other forms of diabetes:
Diabetes Fact Sheet - This fact sheet discusses the risk factors for and signs, symptoms, and treatments of diabetes in women.
Am I at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes? Taking Steps to Lower Your Risk of Getting Diabetes - This fact sheet defines diabetes and reviews the signs and symptoms of the disease. It discusses the risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes and the ways it can be prevented.
Asian American Health — Diabetes - This website links to several different pages with information on diabetes in Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Native Hawaiians.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and Diabetes - Diabetes mellitus poses a rapidly growing health challenge to Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Native Hawaiians in the United States. This Internet site provides information and statistics on the risks and complications associated with diabetes.
Basics About Diabetes - This fact sheet provides information on Type I and Type II Diabetes including the symptoms, causes, risk factors, and treatment options. This fact sheet also lists other resources, related material, and organizations on the subject.
Diabetes Risk Test (Copyright © American Diabetes Association) - This interactive tool can help you determine your risk of diabetes. It includes information on prevention, how to cope, and more.
Take Care of Your Heart. Manage Your Diabetes. For Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders - The National Diabetes Education Program's "Take Care of Your Heart" campaign encourages Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Native Hawaiians with diabetes to take steps now to reduce their risk of heart attacks or strokes, the leading killers of people with diabetes. The campaign also focuses on the importance of family support. Through this site, you can access different Asian-language versions of this campaign.
Tips to Help You Stay Healthy - This booklet provides an action plan for diabetes control that includes tips on controlling blood glucose levels. Being proactive can help prevent or delay diabetes complications and help you to feel your best.
Two Reasons I Find Time to Prevent Diabetes: My Future and Theirs - Overweight or obese Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Native Hawaiians are at risk for diabetes. This tip sheet explains the risk and gives small steps that can help prevent diabetes or prediabetes.
Two Reasons I Find Time to Prevent Diabetes: My Future and Theirs (Chinese) - Overweight or obese Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Native Hawaiians are at risk for diabetes. This tip sheet explains the risk and gives small steps that can help prevent diabetes or prediabetes.
Two Reasons to Prevent Diabetes: My Future and Theirs (Cambodian) - This tip sheet provides information about Asian Americans' and Pacific Islanders' risk for diabetes and the small steps they can take to prevent the disease.
Content last updated May 18, 2010.
Resources last updated January 03, 2014.