NIDDK Marks National Minority Health Month
April is National Minority Health Month. And the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases is using that fact to focus on health issues of particular importance to the minority community, especially in the area of diabetes.
Schmalfeldt: April is National Minority Health Month. And the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases is using that fact to focus on health issues of particular importance to the minority community, especially in the area of diabetes. Dr. Griffin Rodgers, acting director of the NIDDK, explained the rationale for this increased focus.
Rodgers: Certain ethic groups, such as African Americans, Hispanic, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have an increased risk for developing both pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Current figures suggest that 54 million people over the age of 20 have pre-diabetes, a condition which increases the risk of developing diabetes. But not only that, but heart disease and stroke. People who have pre-diabetes, they have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but they're not high enough yet to be considered frank diabetes.
Schmalfeldt: According to a tip sheet from the NIDDK, 3.2 million African Americans (over 13 percent) aged 20 years and older have the disease. One-third are undiagnosed. African Americans are almost twice as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites of similar age. About 2.5 million Hispanics and Latinos aged 20 years and older have the disease. Hispanics and Latinos are almost twice as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites of similar age. American Indians and Alaska Natives on average are 2.2 times more likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites. About 15.1 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives aged 20 years and older and receiving care from the Indian Health Service have diabetes. Prevalence data for diabetes among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are limited. Some groups within this population are at increased risk for diabetes. In Hawaii, Asians, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders aged 20 years or older are more than two times as likely to have diagnosed diabetes as white residents of Hawaii of similar age. Dr. Rodgers talked about several resources available to the minority community to help lower the risk of diabetes.
Rodgers: The National Diabetes Education Program or NDEP — which is a partnership between the NIH and the CDC, and it also involves over 200 private and public partners offers free diabetes prevention resources that are tailored to specific ethnic groups through its "Small Steps, Big Rewards: Prevent Type 2 Diabetes" campaign. You know, actually we have these materials in many, many different languages from Spanish to Samoan — over 15 languages that this information is provided. And the information is provided and tailored both at the level of the patients, the general public as well as providers.
Schmalfeldt: To get access to this information, you can call toll free- 800-438-5383, or go online, www.ndep.nih.gov. From the National Institutes of Health, I'm Bill Schmalfeldt in Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Bill Schmalfeldt
Sound Bite: Dr. Griffin Rodgers
Topic: Diabetes, Minority Health