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Immigrant generation and diabetes risk among Mexican Americans: the Sacramento area Latino study on aging

TitleImmigrant generation and diabetes risk among Mexican Americans: the Sacramento area Latino study on aging
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsAfable-Munsuz, A, Mayeda, ER, Perez-Stable, EJ, Haan, MN
JournalAm J Public HealthAm J Public Health
Volume104 Suppl 2
PaginationS234-50
Date PublishedApr
ISBN Number1541-0048 (Electronic)<br/>0090-0036 (Linking)
Accession Number24899459
AbstractOBJECTIVES: We examined whether acculturation and immigrant generation, a marker for assimilation, are associated with diabetes risk in an aging Mexican-origin population. METHODS: We analyzed data on 1789 adults aged 60 to 101 years from the Sacramento Area Latino Study on Aging. We ascertained type 2 diabetes on the basis of diabetic medication use, self-report of physician diagnosis, or a fasting glucose of 126 milligrams/deciliter or greater. Logistic regression modeled prevalent diabetes. RESULTS: Adjusting for age and gender, we observed significant but divergent associations between immigrant generation, acculturation, and diabetes risk. Relative to first-generation adults, second-generation adults had an odds ratio (OR) of 1.8 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.4, 2.4) and third-generation adults had an OR of 2.1 (95% CI = 1.4, 3.1) of having diabetes. Greater US acculturation, however, was associated with a slightly decreased diabetes rate. In the full model adjusting for socioeconomic and lifestyle factors, the association between generation (but not acculturation) and diabetes remained significant. CONCLUSIONS: Our study lends support to the previously contested notion that assimilation is associated with an increased diabetes risk in Mexican immigrants. Researchers should examine the presence of a causal link between assimilation and health more closely.