Overcoming Disparities in Diabetes care


overcoming diabetes 300x145 Overcoming Disparities in Diabetes careAs a Diabetes patient advocate I am tasked with not only being A torch bearer in a fight for a cure but also as important working towards prevention for those not afflicted yet. For many of us, we tend to negate if not ignore the second part and I am as guilty of that as anyone else. Diabetes prevention takes a back seat for me on a personal level since I already have the disease.

But patient advocacy means fighting just as strongly for the yet to be afflicted because as  statisticians are so apt to putting it  diabetes will eventually come looking for someone else in my family as the epidemic grows.

For a long time, I was the only diabetic in my family, until my mother was diagnosed with Insulin resistance a few years ago. However if there ever was a term a mild case of diabetes then she has it, Mostly treating her condition with diet, exercise and oral medication as needed. This past summer the pastor’s daughter at my church was diagnosed with Insulin resistance as well, she is only 12 and was placed on Metformin. I certainly live  in fear that my Son might eventually contract diabetes given the strong hereditary factors Influencing diagnosis. A fight for prevention has definitely taken on a personal meaning to me.

Its been Projected that by the year 2025, 52% of the worlds population will be either diabetic or Pre-diabetic if current trends continue. Which ultimately means that as much as diabetes is an epidemic now, the future looks even bleaker if serious efforts are not partaken to not only cure but also in prevention.

Another well known glaring fact is that the minority community African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islander Americans  are at an even higher risk for type 2 diabetes than the rest of the population, Twice the contraction rate in fact according to the CDC.

Having the trifecta, being Black, diabetic and a patient advocate, Means am always looking for ways to be more involved with diabetes advocacy in my own community. Which is why I jumped at the opportunity to be involved in the 5th annual disparities forum convened by the ADA.overcoming disparity in diabetes care Overcoming Disparities in Diabetes care

The Disparities forum is  a platform to address the severe onset of type 2 diabetes in high-risk populations and provide a framework on tackling some of the problems associated with prevention and treatment for example cultural competency, health literacy and health equity in diabetes care among other topics.

Due to some personal reasons I was not able to attend this year’s Forum which was held a few days ago DC but it does not mean that the message and call for action was not heard loud and clear. You catch the highlights of the sessions which were  streamed live on U stream.

There is a Disparity in  environmental factors influencing prevention and treatment of diabetes among the communities. Which is why while diabetes Incidences in minority communities and those at risk is high, treatment and prevention is severely lacking. It is up to everyone from us at the grass root level to our representatives both political economical and social in breaking down these Socio-economic barriers if we are to succeed in fighting this disease.

The ADA with the disparities partnership forum is attempting to do just that and I for one am looking forward to seeing real actionable solutions implemented from the summit.


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  1. Great to hear you’re involved, Ronnie! Can you fix the broken link to the ADA event?


    • Sure did, Thanks for the heads up Amy!!

      • Hey Ronnie,

        Do you think the link to high prevalence of DT2 is because of poor nutrition and obesity? I’m just wondering. If so, I’m apt to believe that impoverished white communities in rural areas (predominantly overweight) would have a higher prevalence of DT2 as well. There’s a young African American woman who writes Op-Ed’s for AP who recently titled an article in which she states that the New Affirmative Action will be about economic disparity rather than race. I wonder if the only reason the DT2 numbers are down for ‘whites’ is because there’s just more of us…

        Keep up the good fight! I worry about my daughter developing diabetes too.



        • Great thought Austin.
          I do think environmental factors do play a major role. Take your example for instance that white person in the rural area albeit overweight has access to a different diet. Am assuming more fruits and veggies are accessible because of the environment in this case rural equal farms. The reverse is an African American with access to a worse diet of processed foods. Another point is the sedimentary lifestyle. Am making an assumption here but vis a vis someone living in a rural area has a more active lifestyle, more in the lines of they have to hunt and gather for their foods. Not in the literal sense ofcourse but you get my point.
          The other factors contributing to it would be direct correlation to diet. The southern or comfort / soul foods in the African American diet may also be blamed. Which is partly why studies have shown that the southern states have higher incidences of diabetes.
          Other disparity inequalities like health education and access to healthcare in the minority commuties and a whole other myriad of factors just leads to current climate we are in. It’s tough to pin point one root cause and these symposiums are meant to help find solutions. Hopefully we all do what we can..

  2. Ronnie,

    Thanks for sharing this post. I agree with you that we may focus on one area so much that we begin to ignore other areas. I think that it’s great that you are going to be more involved in the prevention of diabetes. I know that for myself, I would love to be involved as well, but I fear that I would spread myself too thin and then not be able to accomplish much of anything. Have fun at the conference and do us all proud, as I’m sure you will.

    • It’s true Chris but it seems something has to be done. I never really paid much attention to prevention advocacy until every where I look now there is someone I know getting diagnosed with diabetes so its definitely a need area..


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