Advancing Health Equity: Diabetes

Key points

  • Some racial and ethnic minority groups and groups with lower socioeconomic status have higher rates of diabetes.
  • CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation (DDT) works to reduce and one day eliminate health disparities for people with or at risk for type 2 diabetes.

By the numbers: diabetes in the United States

Across the United States, some racial and ethnic minority groups, and people with lower socioeconomic status have historically had higher rates of illness and death from diabetes. This gap has not substantially narrowed.

See the latest statistics by race, ethnicity, income, education level, and diabetes type.

Our actions to promote health equity

Social determinants of health are the conditions in places where people live, learn, work, and play that affect their health risks and outcomes. Together, they account for 50% to 60% of health outcomes and are a key contributor to disparities in health and health care.

Through prevention and education programs and initiatives with key partner organizations, DDT is working to end health disparities in groups at higher risk of type 2 diabetes or diabetes complications. DDT develops, implements, and supports work with these populations by recognizing and reflecting their unique cultures, languages, customs, traditions, foods, and physical activity practices.

DDT's commitment

DDT is committed to ensuring that every person has the information and opportunity to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and to live well with diabetes. We partner with the broader public health community to address health disparities and work toward achieving health equity.

Our strategic focus

Health equity is an essential pillar of DDT's Strategic Plan. We are working to improve access to health care for all Americans with diabetes and those at risk for type 2 diabetes. Watch the video: DDT Director Christopher Holliday discusses diabetes and health equity.

Preventing type 2 diabetes

CDC helps national organizations increase access to the National Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle change program for all people at risk of type 2 diabetes, especially in areas with limited resources. Learn more.

Improving access to diabetes education

Find out about DDT’s efforts to expand the reach of diabetes self-management education and support services through innovative programs and approaches.

Improving health in Indian Country

The Native Diabetes Wellness Program promotes type 2 diabetes prevention and overall health while honoring a balance of cultural practices and Western science.

Improving health in Appalachia

Learn how CDC collaborated with organizations and communities to reduce the burden of diabetes and improve health in this region.

Improving health across the diabetes belt‎

A large part of Appalachia is known as the "diabetes belt" because of its high rates of diabetes. Yet many people living in this region have significantly less access to health care compared to people living in other parts of the country.