Diabetes affects 25.8 million people in the US but the diabetes disparities that exist for various racial and ethnic groups are very significant. Although the disease can lead to serious complications and premature deaths, steps can be taken to reduce the likelihood of such occurrences. Unfortunately, many of the populations most affected by diabetes also represent a disproportionate share of the poor and uninsured. As a result, they face tremendous disparity in the quality of care available to them in the treatment of their diabetes.
Disparities in healthcare are often the result of a combination of social and economic factors, insufficient health resources and poor disease management. Individual in specific racial and ethnic groups experience the greatest prevalence and widest disparity in outcomes for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes disproportionately affects African-Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, Hispanic/Latinos and Pacific Islanders. These groups also make up a disproportionate share of the poor and uninsured.
Here are a few instances of the disparities that exist for various racial and ethnic groups:
When it comes to health care coverage, lack of access to care is a major issue. Poverty is a major factor in access to health care. Families earning less than $10,000 per year make up the greatest % of the uninsured at 35.7% while those who earn more than $75,000 per year make up 7.1% of the uninsured. . Of the US population, those with diabetes represent
In addition, members of racial and ethnic groups make up a disproportionate share of the uninsured population
Compared to insured adults, uninsured adults with diabetes are less likely to receive the proper standard of care, including regular glucose monitoring and preventative check-ups for their feet and eyes. This leads to a greater risk for hospitalization and an increased risk of chronic disease and disability.
Many groups and agencies have set goals and timelines for reducing diabetes complications and eliminating the diabetes disparities among different groups however, we are a long way from achieving this goal.