A recent study by researchers at the Office of Public Health studies found that among those 65 years and older, Native Hawaiian, Filipino, and Japanese men and Filipino women all have a significantly higher risk for diabetes-related potentially preventable hospitalizations than Whites. Dr. Tetine Sentell, assistant professor of health policy and management and the lead author of the study, notes that the increased risk for potentially preventable hospitalizations were found among Asian and Pacific Islander groups even when the higher rates of diabetes among these groups were considered.
Potentially preventable hospitalizations are defined by the Agency of Health Care Research and Quality as those that could be avoided with better primary care. Decreasing such preventable hospitalizations impacts four key health care goals - reducing cost, improving quality, increasing health equity, and relieving suffering - and are a focus of many current policy initiatives. Health care providers and public health programs for elderly patients should consider effective programs to reduce diabetes-related potentially preventable hospitalizations among Asian and Pacific Islanders. Approximately 25 percent of individuals aged 65 or older in the United States have diabetes mellitus.
This study was published in the July issue of Preventing Chronic Disease and was funded by the Center for Native and Pacific Health Disparities Research.