Evidence Based Practice: Diabetes Among African-Americans




One of the global health concerns is diabetes, which has become a leading cause of death globally and the seventh leading cause of death among adults in the United States (Selph et al., 2015). According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) titled the ‘National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017,’ the prevalence of diabetes in the US shows major disparities across race and ethnicity lines (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017). According to the statistics, 7.2% of the US general population had been diagnosed with diabetes by 2015, while 12.7% of this was the non-Hispanic black population with the second highest prevalence after the Alaskan Natives. This number is quite high compared to the non-Hispanic Whites at 7.4 %. The higher prevalence of diabetes among the black population of the US calls for a health care initiative.

Data Analysis Methods

The databases used in the research study of the prevalence of diabetes include the 2013-2015 National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), and the CDC. The US annual Census Bureau database was also consulted for annual estimates of the resident population. From the CDC report, the prevalence of diabetes among the blacks was estimated from the databases. The percentages for the US racial and ethnic groups were age-adjusted using various age groups.

Factors Affecting Health Promotion

The ethical factors that affect health promotion in the black population with diabetes include unequal treatment of all people whereby the vulnerable population is given ineffective medical services as compared to others. It also includes a fair and equal distribution of medical services across all regions. Legal factors mainly constitute the health policies that have been put in place and how they may target the disparities. Economic factors include the social economic status of the vulnerable population. Such population might not have enough resources to acquire the required treatment. Studies have shown that there is a strong connection between the social-economic status and diabetes (Grintsova, Maier, & Mielck, 2014). Finally, cultural factors can influence habits such as the diet intake which can hinder health promotion. This explains high prevalence such as that of diabetes among the Alaskan natives.

The Effectiveness of Health Care Initiatives Used By Organizations

Health care initiatives targeted towards vulnerable and disadvantaged populations have not been very effective, but show very promising results (Lu et al., 2018). According to Lu et al. (2018) in their study to address the case of diabetes among the African Americans, The strength of most of the initiatives is that they are adapted towards the specific needs of the local communities. They are therefore culturally tailored and community-based partnerships. The weakness of these initiatives, however, is that they lack to address equally significant factors such as the level of health care providers and effectiveness of the health systems.

The Evidence-based health care initiative

One of the most effective and evidence-based healthcare initiatives to address the disparities in the prevalence of diabetes is by increasing health coverage through the provision of insurance. Subsidized insurance coverage for the disadvantaged ensures that even the less fortunate get equal and effective medical treatment. This initiative was proved to be effective by the Medicaid program of the Affordable Care Act policy (Kaufman, Chen, Fonseca & McPhaul, 2015).


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Factors that affect health promotion and disease prevention

Political Factors

            The government plays a major role in determining the success of health promotion programs. The policies that have been put in place determine the funding that is available towards reducing health disparities. For instance, the affordable care act during President Obama’s administration put funding in place that ensured that the disadvantaged populations accessed insurance at an affordable price.

Data Availability

            The information on the vulnerable population is very essential. For instance, the diabetes report by CDC relies greatly on estimates and this might introduce great errors. Such errors might give a false representation of the actual situation on the ground

Socio-economic factors

            Socio-economic status is one of the greatest contributors to health disparities. The lack of proper education may hinder disease prevention due to a lack of knowledge on the disease.

Communication Factors

The health promoters require communicating effectively to the target populations. If the vulnerable population is not well informed about health promotion programs, then they might not stand to benefit from them.

Strategies to reduce health disparities

Some of the strategies to reduce health disparities among African Americans with diabetes include establishing health policies that cater to the specific needs of the black community, putting in place community-based health partnerships, and improving the healthcare systems that are in place. Such strategies should be tailored towards the specific cultural and socio-economic status of the African-American population.



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). National diabetes statistics report, 2017. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Dept of Health and Human Services.

Grintsova, O., Maier, W., & Mielck, A. (2014). Inequalities in health care among patients with type 2 diabetes by individual socio-economic status (SES) and regional deprivation: a systematic literature review. International journal for equity in health13(1), 43.

Kaufman, H. W., Chen, Z., Fonseca, V. A., & McPhaul, M. J. (2015). Surge in newly identified diabetes among Medicaid patients in 2014 within Medicaid expansion states under the Affordable Care Act. Diabetes Care38(5), 833-837.

Lu, J. B., Danko, K. J., Elfassy, M. D., Welch, V., Grimshaw, J. M., & Ivers, N. M. (2018). Do quality improvement initiatives for diabetes care address social inequities? Secondary analysis of a systematic review. BMJ open8(2), e018826.

Selph, S., Dana, T., Bougatsos, C., Blazina, I., Patel, H., & Chou, R. (2015). Screening for Abnormal Glucose and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.


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