Treatment and Care for African Americans

Compared to the general population, African Americans are disproportionately affected by diabetes:

  • 4.9 million, or 18.7 percent of all African Americans aged 20 years or older have diabetes.
  • African Americans are 1.8 times more likely to have diabetes as non Hispanic whites.

Diabetes is associated with an increased risk for a number of serious, sometimes life-threatening complications, and certain populations experience an even greater threat. Good diabetes management can help reduce your risk; however, many people are not even aware that they have diabetes until they develop one of its complications.

  • Blindness — African Americans are almost 50 percent as likely to develop diabetic retinopathy as non-Hispanic whites.
  • Kidney Disease — African Americans are 2.6 to 5.6 times as likely to suffer from kidney disease.
  • Amputations — African Americans are 2.7 times as likely to suffer from lower-limb amputations. 

Learn about the American Diabetes Association's African American Initiatives.

  • Last Reviewed: November 12, 2013
  • Last Edited: April 4, 2014

Articles from Diabetes Forecast® magazine:

Diabetes Forecast