The impact of type 2 diabetes on Southeast Asian (SEA) communities in the United States -- a group that includes Cambodians, Hmong, Laotians, and Vietnamese -- is driven by cultural, historical, and logistical factors. Understanding these factors is a first step in identifying potential interventions. Though there is great diversity within the SEA subgroup, its members are united by a strong sense of their respective communities and a reverence for local leaders. Effective programs to overcome barriers to type 2 diabetes prevention and control must capitalize on these strengths, while taking into account the unique requirements of this population. The purpose of this paper is to
- Increase awareness among health care providers, decision makers, and organizations serving Asian Americans of the risk for type 2 diabetes in SEAs and potential impacting factors.
- Highlight data collection issues, barriers to care, and special health care needs, and introduce successful models in reaching Southeast Asian populations.
- Identify resources available to organizations, government agencies, health care providers, and others who work with SEAs in the United States.