Quyen Ngo-Metzger, MD, MPH, KPSOM Professor of Health Systems Science, weighed in on diabetes screening standards for people of color in the Aug. 1 issue of Scientific American. In the article that assesses diabetes risks for Black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans in comparison to white Americans, Dr. Ngo-Metzger said, “A lot of studies suggest it's better to measure the waist-hip ratio instead of using BMI [body mass index] [to assess risk]” in Asian Americans who may have more abdominal fat at lower body weights than people of other ethnicities. According to Dr. Ngo-Metzger, “chronic stress has also been linked to diabetes risk … and that could include the stress of experiencing racism.” As a former scientific director of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, Dr. Ngo-Metzger noted that “most studies of diabetes were done in middle-aged white individuals,” which is what screening standards were based on. She believes these standards should be revised and added, “The study found that you would miss so many Blacks, Hispanics and Asians when you use these guidelines. I think it's a disservice.” The article states that screening guidelines need to better reflect individual risk factors that include ethnicity and race, which would make the process more equitable overall.
Read the article here .