There is an old expression that says you can pick your friends but you can't pick your family. It's true; a family is something you are born into. The same is true for health issues. Many health problems are inherited from our parents or other family. Diabetes is one of those health issues that can be inherited from family but can also carry increased risk due to racial and ethnic factors.
Diabetes hits minority groups hard
The death rate from diabetes is up to 50% higher among Blacks and Hispanics than it is for whites, according to The Office of Minority Health (OMH) at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But there are many reasons for these statistics, and much that can be done to prevent diabetes from leading to death or causing serious complications.
Why diabetes is higher among minorities
At-risk minorities include American Indians (both Alaska natives and Native Americans), Hispanics, Blacks, and Asian Americans. The highest risk for diabetes occurs among American Indians, Hispanics and Blacks. Although some genetic factors play a role in the increase, environmental factors are also included.
Here are 6 reasons why minorities are hit the hardest:
- Denial often leaves diabetes untreated until it becomes a serious health problem.
- Minorities often are not aware that they have an increased risk of getting diabetes.
- Many minorities live in areas where there is limited access to healthy food.
- Minorities often do not have access to health care services.
- Diabetes in minority populations can progress rapidly and become worse with poor diet, obesity, lack of exercise and risky behavior.
- Minorities often have difficulty properly managing their diabetes after being diagnosed.