Advancing Health Equity

Illustration of abstract people in rainbow colors

Working toward a world where everyone can attain their highest level of health.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. It is more common among people who are members of some racial and ethnic minority groups and groups with lower socioeconomic status.

Since its inception, CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation (DDT) has been working to reduce and one day eliminate health disparities for all Americans who are living with diabetes or who are at risk of type 2 diabetes.

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. Learn more about DDT’s vision, mission, and approach to improving access to health care for all Americans with diabetes and those at risk for type 2 diabetes.

By the Numbers: Diabetes in America

Across the United States, some racial and ethnic minority groups and groups with lower socioeconomic status have historically had higher rates of illness and death from diabetes than White people, and 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

The social determinants of health are conditions in the 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 health and health care disparities.

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.

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.

Preventing Diabetes Complications

The benefits of diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) services are proven, but use of these services is low, especially among populations with higher rates of type 2 diabetes. Find out about DDT’s efforts to expand the reach of DSMES services through innovative programs and approaches.

Native Diabetes Wellness Program

American Indian and Alaska Native people are more likely to have type 2 diabetes than any other US racial or ethnic group. 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 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. Learn how CDC collaborated with organizations and communities to reduce the burden of diabetes and improve health in this region.

Page last reviewed: April 6, 2022