Prevalence of Diabetes by Race and Ethnicity

By: DiscoveryHealth.com writers

Non-Hispanic whites:

  • 13.1 million, or 8.7% of all non-Hispanic whites aged 20 years or older have diabetes.

Non-Hispanic blacks:

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  • 3.2 million, or 13.3% of all non-Hispanic blacks aged 20 years or older have diabetes. After adjusting for population age differences, non-Hispanic blacks are 1.8 times as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites.

Hispanic/Latino Americans:

  • After adjusting for population age differences, Mexican Americans, the largest Hispanic/Latino subgroup, are 1.7 times as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites.
  • If the prevalence of diabetes among Mexican Americans was applied to the total Hispanic/Latino population, about 2.5 million (9.5%)Hispanic/Latino Americans aged 20 years or older would have diabetes.
  • Sufficient data are not available to derive estimates of the total prevalence of diabetes (both diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes) for other Hispanic/Latino groups.
  • However, residents of Puerto Rico are 1.8 times as likely to have diagnosed diabetes as U.S. non-Hispanic whites.

American Indians and Alaska Natives:

  • 99,500, or 12.8% of American Indians and Alaska Natives aged 20 years or older who received care from IHS in 2003 had diagnosed diabetes.
  • Applying the rate of undiagnosed diabetes in the total U.S. population to the American Indians and Alaska Natives who receive care from IHS gives an estimate of 118,000 (15.1%) American Indians and Alaska Natives aged 20 years or older with diabetes (both diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes).
  • After adjusting for population age differences, the total prevalence of diabetes in this group is lowest among Alaska Natives (8.1%) and highest among American Indians in the southern United States (26.7%) and in southern Arizona (27.6%).
  • Taking into account population age differences, American Indians and Alaska Natives are 2.2 times as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders:

  • The total prevalence of diabetes (both diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes) is not available for Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders.
  • However, in Hawaii, Asians, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders aged 20 years or older are more than 2 times as likely to have diagnosed diabetes as whites after adjusting for population age differences.
  • Similarly, in California, Asians were 1.5 times as likely to have diagnosed diabetes as non-Hispanic whites.
  • Other groups within these populations also have increased risk for diabetes.

*Adapted from National Estimates on Diabetes, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - 2005

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