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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Coronary Heart Disease Risk and Risk Perception in Korean Immigrants with Type 2 Diabetes

  • Author(s): Choi, Sarah
  • Advisor(s): Rankin, Sally
  • et al.

Background: Perceived risk is a predictor for adopting risk-reducing behaviors. Despite the rising incidence of type 2 diabetes in Korean immigrants and their increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) associated with diabetes, little is known about the level of CHD risk perception and risk factor control in this group. Purpose: 1) Describe the level of coronary heart disease (CHD) risk perception and risk factors; 2) examine factors associated with CHD risk perception; 3) describe glucose control status; and 4) examine determinants of glucose control in Korean immigrants with type 2 diabetes. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study design was used. Data were collected from a community sample of 143 Korean adults with type 2 diabetes, aged 30 to 80 years old. Participants completed questionnaires and submitted to a finger stick blood test for glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), cholesterol panel, and anthropometric measures. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to evaluate factors influencing CHD risk perception and glucose control in Korean immigrants with type 2 diabetes. Findings: Perception of CHD risk among participants was low. Most (76.9%) perceived their risk to be the same or lower than their peers in the general population. According to American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines, CHD risk- factor control was suboptimal. More than half had uncontrolled blood pressure and higher low density lipoprotein cholesterol (55% and 53.6% respectively) than the target goal. CHD knowledge had a significant positive effect and self-reported general health had a significant negative effect on the perception of CHD risk. The mean HbA1c level was 7.6 % (SD = 1.5; range = 5.6 to 12.5). Less than half of the participants (41.3%) met the ADA's goal of less than 7%. Roughly 22% of variance in HbA1c levels was explained by a linear combination of family diet support, acculturation, body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), the duration of diabetes, the number of diabetic medications, age, gender, and education (R² = 0.223, F[9,133] = 4.24; p < .0001). In the final model, family diet support, age, WHR, the duration of diabetes, and the number of diabetic medications determined glucose control.

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