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Diabetes and the Office of Minority Health

Posted on March 31 2014

Affecting over 26 million Americans and 147,000 people worldwide, diabetes is a chronic health condition that, when not treated properly, can result in significant health problems and complications, which can include heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation, and death. Research has indicated that incidences and complications associated with diabetes are worse for minorities than they are for members of the general population. In an effort to provide better support for these groups, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is partnering with the Office of Minority Health (OMH) to increase diabetes related studies and trials with minorities, raise awareness, provide education, and work towards reducing the risk factors among these groups.   How significant is diabetes among minorities? Spokespeople for the Office of Minority Health indicate that there are many factors known to contribute to increasing risks and complications from diabetes for minority groups; including their access to healthcare, cultural variations, education, lifestyle, and diet, all of which have an influence over an individual’s health and wellness. According to the National Health Interview survey by the CDC:   *7.6% of non-Hispanic whites have diabetes   However, minority groups tended to have higher percentages of diabetes diagnoses, with the breakdown of minority groups being affected by diabetes consisting of:   - 9.1% Asian Americans - 12.9% non-Hispanic Blacks - 13.2% Hispanics - 16.3% Native Americans - 17.5% Alaska Natives   What is the Office of Minority Health doing to address diabetes concerns? OMH is pursuing a variety of programs that aimed at raising awareness, providing support, and helping those with diabetes stay healthier. Outreach services consist of including minorities in clinical trials and studies, providing open support groups and encouraging minorities to attend and participate, advocating on behalf of those with diabetes, and actively raising diabetic awareness and education within minority communities.   How do I reach out to the Office of Minority Health about diabetes? The OMH has extended an open invitation for members of minority communities to reach out to them for support. Contact can be made through the OMH directly or through the FDA. Additionally, the OMH has a dedicated twitter handle @FDAOMH.   Source: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm389919.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

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