Diabetes incidence based on linkages with health plans: The multiethnic cohort

Gertraud Maskarinec, Eva Erber, Andrew Grandinetti, Martijn Verheus, Robert Oum, Beth N. Hopping, Mark M. Schmidt, Aileen Uchida, Deborah Taira Juarez, Krista Hodges, Laurence N. Kolonel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE - Using the Hawaii component of the Multiethnic Cohort (MEC), we estimated diabetes incidence among Caucasians, Japanese Americans, and Native Hawaiians. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - After excluding subjects who reported diabetes at baseline or had missing values, 93,860 cohort members were part of this analysis. New case subjects were identified through a follow-up questionnaire (1999-2000), a medication questionnaire (2003-2006), and linkage with two major health plans (2007). We computed agestandardized incidence rates and estimated hazard ratios (HRs) for ethnicity, BMI, education, and combined effects of these variables using Cox regression analysis. RESULTS - After a total follow-up time of 1,119,224 person-years, 11,838 incident diabetic case subjects were identified with an annual incidence rate of 10.4 per 1,000 person-years. Native Hawaiians had the highest rate with 15.5, followed by Japanese Americans with 12.5, and Caucasians with 5.8 per 1,000 person-years; the adjusted HRs were 2.65 for Japanese Americans and 1.93 for Native Hawaiians. BMI was positively related to incidence in all ethnic groups. Compared with the lowest category, the respective HRs for BMIs of 22.0-24.9, 25.0-29.9, and ≥30.0 kg/m2 were 2.10, 4.12, and 9.48. However, the risk was highest for Japanese Americans and intermediate for Native Hawaiians in each BMI category. Educational achievement showed an inverse association with diabetes risk, but the protective effect was limited to Caucasians. CONCLUSIONS - Within this multiethnic population, diabetes incidence was twofold higher in Japanese Americans and Native Hawaiians than in Caucasians. The significant interaction of ethnicity with BMI and education suggests ethnic differences in diabetes etiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1732-1738
Number of pages7
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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