Diabetes and Ethnicity
Studies indicate that ethnicity and genetics play a large role in the onset of Type 2 diabetes .
Black, Asian and Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and Alaska
Natives, are more likely to get Type 2 diabetes than White Americans
simply because of a genetic marker on their genes that makes them
process sugars and fats slower than Caucasians.
But, recently studies have shown that education, income, neighborhood (socioeconomic forces) play a even stronger role in raising the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. That is if you know the importance of healthy meals, physical activity, and stores are in your neighbor hood sell fresh healthy food – and you have the income to buy from these stores – then you can prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes or delay it.
The percentages below indicate the incidence of diabetes in the
ethnic group indicated. They include people in the United States with
both Type1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes who are 20 years of age or older.
- 8.7% of White Americans (non-Hispanic)
- 9.5 % of Hispanics
- 13.3% of Black Americans (non-Hispanic)
- 15.1 % of American Indians and Alaska Natives
When compared with White Americans, the chart below shows how much more likely the specific ethnic group is to get the disease.
Black Americans: 1.8 times
- Hispanic/Latino Americans: 1.8 times
- American Indian/Alaska Natives: 2.2 times
- Asian Americans: 1.5 to 2.5 times
- Pacific Islanders: 1.5 to 2.5 times
However, these ethnic groups have an easier time delaying the onset
of diabetes-related complications through nutrition and lifestyle
changes. Obesity is still a major leading factor in the onset of diabetes. Therefore, if you are in one of these higher-risk ethnic
groups, you not only have to take your genetic make-up into
consideration, but you still need to avoid obesity. After all, obesity is very closely related to the onset of Type 2 diabetes.