Black Americans and Diabetes – Diabetes Mellitus Example

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"Black Americans and Diabetes" is a perfect example of a paper on diabetes mellitus. Black Americans as a distinct ethnic group have a disproportionately high incidence and prevalence rates among American citizens from a number of ailments. These include asthma, hypertension, heart diseases, and diabetes. It is an alarming situation but no single factor can be exclusively identified as solely responsible for these high rates that are in epidemic proportions. Health care experts suspect genetics could be one predisposing factor but studies point out to the sedentary lifestyles of most African-Americans, who are 1.8 times more likely to be diabetic as compared to non-Hispanic white Americans (American Diabetes Association, 2013, p.

1); there are about five million black Americans who are diabetic, those aged 20 years or older. This is the tip of the iceberg, as the trend is still increasing, which is about 1 in every 5 who is diabetic. The most likely complications from diabetes are blindness, kidney disease, and amputations. These in turn contribute to a high mortality rate, as 75% of cardiovascular problems due to hypertension are attributable to diabetes (Braithwaite, Taylor & Treadwell, 2009, p.

12). Some of the public health policy interventions are to improve knowledge about diabetes among black Americans through a public information campaign that is culturally appropriate, to encourage self-care about the dangers of diabetes, increase knowledge about lifestyle factors in the cause of diabetes by changing their diets, encourage more physical activities, and avoid sweet foods like sugar, cola drinks, cakes, pastries, etc. that are contributory to Type 2 diabetes (T2D). This can be done through community health centers to encourage participation and attendance in these public health medical seminars (Hampton, Gullotta, & Crowel, 2010, p.

255). The blacks in America are disproportionately affected by diabetes also due to prevalent obesity, inadequate access to health care, and suspected genetic susceptibility (Liburd, 2009, p. 24).


American Diabetes Association (2013). Living with diabetes: African-Americans and Complications. Retrieved February 10, 2013 from

Hampton, R. L., Gullota, T. P. & Crowel, R. L. (2010). Handbook of African-American health. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Liburd, L. C. (2009). Diabetes and health disparities: Community-based approaches for

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