FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: David Hawks, NCAPIP
Linda Acosta, SFDPH
San Francisco Health Commission Votes to Support “Screen at 23” Campaign
“Screen at 23” will Unmask Diabetes among Asian Americans
Yesterday afternoon, at the San Francisco Department of Health, the San Francisco Health Commission voted unanimously to support a campaign to unmask the hundreds of thousands of hidden cases of diabetes among Asian Americans. Organized by the National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians (NCAPIP) in partnership with the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Diabetes Coalition, the campaign’s goal is to screen Asian Americans with a body mass index of 23 for type 2 diabetes. The passing of the resolution makes San Francisco the first city and county to encourage the adoption of these appropriate screening guidelines throughout its citywide healthcare system.
“Diabetes happens in Asian Americans at a body mass index of 23. We are different, and ‘Screen at 23’ is a result of years of collaborative work to demonstrate that we need different screening guidelines; it was critical for NCAPIP to make this campaign,” said Dr. Ho Luong Tran, President & CEO of NCAPIP who coordinates the AANHPI Diabetes Coalition’s efforts.
In January 2015 the American Diabetes Association (ADA) adopted a body mass index of 23 as a risk factor to consider for diabetes testing among Asian Americans in their Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes. “The Association has focused on diabetes among minority populations through efforts such as our Diabetes Disparities Action Councils which focus on advocating for the needs of higher risk communities, and in 2011 we helped form the AANHPI Diabetes Coalition to push forward initiatives focused on diabetes in AANHPIs,” said Dr. LaShawn McIver, ADA’s Vice President of Public Policy & Strategic Alliances. “The guidance change and this subsequent campaign are two big steps on the journey, both for this issue and for recognizing and addressing diabetes disparities among all minority communities.”
“The most recent data from the National Institutes of Health showed that over half of all Asian Americans with diabetes are undiagnosed, and this reinforces the need for ‘Screen at 23’,” said Dr. Edward Chow, San Francisco Health Commission President and co-chair of the AANHPI Diabetes Coalition. “Our Coalition members and partners are poised to spread this message far and wide, but it will really depend on the public, health plans and physicians to act on it.”
The San Francisco Health Commission resolution makes raising awareness and screening for diabetes at a body mass index of 23 a standard across the Department of Public Health through the San Francisco Health Network, and encourages its use across private and public healthcare settings.
To find out more about the campaign and how to help, go to Screenat23.org