Treatment and Care for African Americans Suffering with Diabetes

Compared to the general population, African Americans are disproportionately affected by diabetes

  • 13.2% of all African Americans aged 20 years or older have diagnosed diabetes.
  • African Americans are 1.7 times more likely to have diabetes as non Hispanic whites.

Diabetes is associated with an increased risk for a number of serious, sometimes life-threatening complications, and certain populations experience an even greater threat. Good diabetes management can help reduce your risk; however, many people are not even aware that they have diabetes until they develop one of its complications.

African-Americans are significantly more likely to suffer from blindness, kidney disease and amputations.

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Health Disparities

What are Disparities?

Some communities are affected more severely (disparately impacted) by diabetes but do not receive a commensurate share of diabetes research, treatment and education.

These communities include:

In addition, racial and ethnic minority populations have a higher risk of complications of diabetes, such as lower limb amputations, retinopathy and kidney failure, than non-Hispanic Whites.

For these reasons, the American Diabetes Association has prioritized the elimination of disparities by placing disparities prominently in our 2011-2015 strategic plan and 2014 legislative priorities.

How We are Advocating for Health Equity

  • Promoting Health Equity with increased diabetes research, treatment and education in minority populations.
  • Access to Health Insurance that is affordable and provides access to the tools to prevent and manage diabetes and its complications. This includes the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which includes many provisions designed to promote health equity. Find out more about the Updates to Health Insurance and Health Insurance Marketplaces.
  • Funding for Diabetes Research and Programs including increasing the overall government commitment to stopping diabetes.
  • State legislation to break down barriers such as healthcare access, affordability and diabetes discrimination issues. Click here to find information about efforts in your state.
  • Ending Discrimination people with diabetes face at school, work and elsewhere in their lives. Click here to find out more.

The American Diabetes Association also supports education and awareness programming in Hispanic/LatinoAfrican AmericanAsian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaskan Native populations.


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