Diabetes Prevention in African-American Communities

Cynthia Williams Brown*

Diabetes Prevention in African-American Communities.

The prevalence of T2D is higher in African-Americans and other ethnic minorities. African-Americans are 1.7 times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites. In addition, African-Americans are more likely to suffer complications from diabetes, such as end-stage renal disease and lower extremity amputations. African-Americans are 3.4 times more likely to have end stage renal disease and 3.5 times likely to be hospitalized for lower limb amputations as compared to non-hispanic whites.

Obesity and physical inactivity are two major risk factor for diabetes. African-Americans in general, and African-American women specifically, have higher obesity and physical inactivity rates. African-American women have the highest obesity rate and are the least active of any other ethnic or gender groups in the United States. More than half of African-American women (58%) are overweight or obese as compared to one-third of the adult population. African-American women’s obesity is almost twice that of Caucasian women and significantly higher than that of Mexican-American women (44.9%). Consequently, this domino effect of obesity and diabetes contributes to the growing gap in health disparities.

Despite the fact that T2D is preventable, T2D continues to be on the rise in African American communities. African-Americans and other ethnic minorities continue to carry the heavy burden of the devastating effects of diabetes. Studies have shown that lifestyle interventions have been successful in preventing or delaying the onset of diabetes. Diabetes prevention interventions have proven to work outside of research settings. In particular, the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) has been proven to work in community based settings. The program is a lifestyle change program designed for individuals who have prediabetes or are at risk for diabetes and has been proven to reduce their risk of developing diabetes by 58%.

Obes Res Open J. 2016; 2(4): e15-e16. doi: 10.17140/OROJ-2-e006