Ethnic Disparities and Diabetes

BIDMC Contributor

NOVEMBER 01, 2012


The burden of diabetes is much greater for minority populations than the Caucasian population. For example, African-Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, and American Indians/Alaska Natives all experience higher death rates from diabetes than the general population. 

Certain minorities also have much higher rates of diabetes-related complications and death, in some instances by as much as 50 percent more than the total population. 

The following are statistics from the National Diabetes Education Program:

  • 16.1 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives had diabetes in 2009. They are 77 percent more likely than Caucasians to develop the disease.
  • 12.6 percent of all African-Americans get diabetes. They are 1.8 times as likely to have diabetes as Caucasians.
  • 11.8 percent of Latino/Hispanic Americans have diabetes. They are 66 percent more likely to have diabetes than Caucasians.
  • 8.4 percent of Asian-Americans have diabetes. They are 18 percent more likely to get diabetes than Caucasians.
  • African-Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans and American Indians/Alaska Natives all experience higher rates of potentially avoidable lower extremity amputations.
  • The rate of end-stage renal disease (kidney failure) is 2.6 times higher among African-Americans than among whites.
  • Hypertension is common in Hispanic, African-American, and Pacific Islander populations.
  • Being overweight or obese is common in some Hispanic groups, African-American, Pacific Islander, and American Indian populations.

Posted November 2012


Joslin Diabetes Center
A Clinical Partner of BIDMC
One Joslin Place
Boston, MA 02215

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.