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Home : Healthy Living : Ethnic Groups

Diabetes and Race

Some racial and ethnic groups have a greater chance of getting diabetes. They include American Indians, African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Here is the prevalence of diabetes by race/ethnicity in people 20 years or older:

Non-Hispanic whites: 11.3 million. 7.8 percent of all non-Hispanic whites have diabetes.

Non-Hispanic blacks: 2.3 million. 10.8 percent of all non-Hispanic blacks have diabetes. On average, non-Hispanic blacks are 1.7 times as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites of similar age.

Mexican Americans: 1.2 million. 10.6 percent of all Mexican Americans have diabetes. On average, Mexican Americans are 1.9 times as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites of similar age.

Other Hispanic/Latino Americans: On average, Hispanic/Latino Americans are almost twice as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites of similar age. (Sufficient data are not currently available to derive more specific estimates.)

American Indians and Alaska Natives: 9 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives have diagnosed diabetes. On average, American Indians and Alaska Natives are 2.8 times as likely to have diagnosed diabetes as non-Hispanic whites of similar age.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: Prevalence data for diabetes among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are limited. Some groups within this population are at increased risk for diabetes. For example, data collected from 1988 to 1995 suggest that Native Hawaiians are twice as likely to have diagnosed diabetes as white residents of Hawaii.

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Diabetic Food & Dining

Once an ethnic and seasonal ingredient found only at Italian greengrocers from September to May, fennel now appears in many supermarkets through most of the year. Includes recipe for Chicken with Fennel and Red Peppers.
Women from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds say that having more convenient and inexpensive places to exercise would encourage them to become more active, a nationwide collection of studies in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concludes.
Phone counseling that encourages women to overcome obstacles to exercise in their lives seems to work equally well for black, white, rich and poor individuals, according to research in the American Journal of Health Behavior.
Among African American women, Type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic proportions; age 20 years or older, the rate is 11.8 percent. About 1 in 4 black women over the age of 55 years of age has diabetes, nearly twice the rate of white women.
For American Indians - Alaska Natives, both women and men, the incidence rate of type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic proportions. Overall, 12.2 percent of AI/AN women and men over the age of 19 have been diagnosed with diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a serious health concern for Hispanic American women. 25 percent of Hispanic American women have been diagnosed with diabetes.
Diabetes in Hispanic Americans is a serious health challenge because of the increased prevalence of diabetes in this population, the greater number of risk factors for diabetes in Hispanics, the greater incidence of several diabetes complications, and the growing number of people of Hispanic ethnicity in the United States.
Diabetes mellitus is one of the most serious health challenges facing American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States today. The disease is very common in many tribes, and morbidity and mortality from diabetes can be severe.

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