We have a diabetes problem in the United States, affecting people of color at a higher rate. 

More than 37 million Americans have diabetes, but the rate of adults in the United States diagnosed with diabetes is highest among people of color, including American Indians and Alaska Natives, non-Hispanic Blacks, people of Hispanic origin, and non-Hispanic Asians. These groups experience high levels of systemic racism, which research links to an increased likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.

To better understand how type 2 diabetes affects people of color, we took a closer look at type 2 diabetes:

  • Statistics
  • Risk Factors
  • Management barriers
  • Complications

Within this Health Divide, we dive deeper into the health inequities that increase type 2 diabetes risk in people of color and why those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes cannot properly manage their disease. 

-Do-Eun Lee, MD Verywell Health Medical Expert Board Member

Health Divide

Type 2 Diabetes in People of Color

Health Divide: Type 2 Diabetes Transparent

How Type 2 Diabetes Affects People of Color

What are the risk factors for type 2 diabetes?
How do people get diagnosed with type 2 diabetes?
What are barriers to type 2 diabetes treatment?
What happens if type 2 diabetes is not managed properly?

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Do-Eun Lee, MD, has been practicing medicine for more than 20 years and specializes in diabetes, thyroid issues, and general endocrinology. She currently operates a private practice in Lafayette, CA, which opened in 2009.
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Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevalence of diagnosed diabetes.

  2. American Journal of Managed Care. Recognizing the role of systemic racism in diabetes disparities.