Why Are Minorities at Greater Risk for Diabetes?

  • Topic Info:Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which the body's inability to produce any or enough insulin causes elevated levels of glucose in the blood.

    This disease is on the rise throughout the nation. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million adults and children in the U.S. have diabetes which accounts for 8.3 percent of the population. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.

    Another statistic? Minorities are more likely than Caucasians to develop diabetes.

    What makes minorities more at risk for this disease?

    Diabetes can run in your family, which increases your risk of developing the disease. Beyond genetics, there are also cultural attitudes and socioeconomic factors that can play a role in the growing epidemic.

    For instance, every culture has different takes on what comfort food is. These foods are passed down from generation to generation, even though they may not be the healthiest foods.

    What are some strategies to educate these minority groups and improve lifestyle changes?

    Exercise is one of the better approaches when it comes to preventing and managing diabetes. However, there are logistical and practical barriers in terms of facilities available or if it is even safe to be playing outside.

    What are some other ways to help manage the growing problem of diabetes in minorities?

    Endocrinologist at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis and a professor of medicine specializing in endocrinology and specifically in diabetes at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Dr. Kieren Maher, joins Melanie Cole, MS, to discuss why diabetes is a growing problem specifically among minorities.
  • Host: Melanie Cole, MS