Who does diabetes hit hardest?

U.S. Diabetes statistics | hardest hit ethnic groups | Education level | Ethnic group hi’s and low’s | High risk youth groups | Insightful Infographics

In the National Diabetes Statistics Report 2020, the Center for Disease Control estimates the prevalence of diabetes and its burden in the United States. As many already knew, Diabetes hits some harder than others. Unfortunately, the hardest hit groups may be the least likely to know that diabetes can be reversible with diet and other improvements to your metabolic health

Which ethnic groups does diabetes hit hardest?

Culture and community can play a big role for all of us succeeding in lifestyle challenges. In the United States the five ethnic / racial groups hardest hit by diabetes are Americans who also identify as Native American, Mexican American, Asian Indian, Puerto Rican and Black. Luckily, each of these cultures have heritage-based Foodways that support a low-carb, metabolically healthy lifestyle. as well as leaders in each of these hard hit groups.

Diabetes, which ethnic groups are losing the diabetes battle in the United States
Source: National Diabetes Statistics Report 2020. Estimates of diabetes and its burden in the United States. Appendix Table 3

Education level – adults with the least schooling are most likely to have diabetes

Diabetes is most prevalent among adults who have not finished high school (13.3%). It is least prevalent for adults who have more than a high school education. Could these higher diabetes rates be because the less educated are more likely to be living in poverty and qualify for programs dictated by the dietary guidelines? For example, are the poor are more likely to receive institutional meals from school lunch programs, nursing homes, hospitals, and prisons?

Source: National Diabetes Statistics Report 2020. Estimates of diabetes and its burden in the United States. Appendix Table 3

Likelihood varies dramatically by ethnic group

A Native-American is over two and a half times more likely to have diabetes than a Chinese-American.

diabetes statistics by race and ethnicity - highs and lows
Source: National Diabetes Statistics Report 2020. Estimates of diabetes and its burden in the United States. Appendix Table 3. High’s and lows of this chart depicted in other posts on this page.

What might the ethnic groups with the lowest diabetes rates have in common? What can white, non-Hispanics learn about avoiding diabetes from Cuban-Americans and Chinese-Americans? Note that Central / South Americans adults also have low diabetes, but less so in their adolescents and and young adults. What can we all learn about diabetes control and from these cultures and age groups?

  • More home cooked meals? More real food in traditional combinations?
  • Less sugar (especially drinks) and hyper-processed foods?
  • More saturated fats from traditional sources such as lard, tallow and bacon fat?
  • Meat eating, including ruminants such as beef, lamb and goat?

We’d love your ideas and insights in the comments!

diabetes statistics white, Cuban and Chinese Americans
Source: National Diabetes Statistics Report 2020. Estimates of diabetes and its burden in the United States. Appendix Table 3

Socioeconomic status differences between ethnic groups can impact health with education and higher income having a positive effect. (1) (2)

Which adolescents and young adults are most at risk?

Andes LJ, Cheng YJ, Rolka DB, Gregg EW, Imperatore G. Prevalence of Prediabetes Among Adolescents and Young Adults in the United States, 2005-2016. JAMA Pediatr. 2020;174(2):e194498. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.4498

In an effort to reach at risk young people, Interventional Cardiologist, Christian Assad, MD has turned to TikTok in English and Spanish. Dr. Assad teamed up with fellow physician Ariel Ortiz, MD to offer a much needed Spanish language podcast, ViveSinDietas.org focused on metabolic health. Why is Dr. Assad so passionate? Read or listen here, here or here. [Author’s note: Don’t let Dr. Assad’s dance moves and obvious compassion fool you. His science lectures are extremely articulate as well.]


People have asked me to explain ##LowCarb in 60 seconds! DID my best to do it ##fyp ##foryoupage ##health ##diabetes ##obesity ##weightloss ##foryou ##doclife

♬ original sound – medhacker

Other useful diabetes statistics from the CDC

The road to type 2 diabetes statitistics
Low-Carb lifestyles can reverse diabetes, but the CDC has not yet embraced.
Sources & Footnotes
  1. Williams, D. R., Priest, N., & Anderson, N. B. (2016). Understanding associations among race, socioeconomic status, and health: Patterns and prospects. Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 35(4), 407–411. https://doi.org/10.1037/hea0000242[]
  2. Ethnic and Racial Minorities & Socioeconomic Status. https://www.apa.org/pi/ses/resources/publications/minorities Retrieved July 9, 2020.[]

Cecile Seth

Cecile Seth, MBA. STEM Journalist. Co-Founder. Harvard Business School. Wellesley College. Bain & Company. Ms. Seth's award-winning blog, STEMshoots, helps her suburb with community planning and strengthening its schools. Keto since 2017. Mom to 3 kids from 17 to 21.

3 Responses

  1. July 29, 2020

    […] Who does diabetes hit hardest? […]

  2. August 14, 2020

    […] Who does diabetes hit hardest? […]

  3. August 17, 2020

    […] Metabolic Multiplier – 5.0 Community & Culture || Who does diabetes hit hardest? || Black culture || Lifestyle Medicine (Not just for vegetarians!) || See definitions below for […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: