I am type 1 diabetic and African- American. I was the first type 1 diagnosed in my family 42 years ago.Type 2 diabetes is very common on my biological father’s side of the family; although, as of 2010, I also have a second cousin who is type 1 , and a first cousin who is LAD,. There were several cousins, aunts and uncles who died of complications of type 2 diabetes, all also on my father’s side. No one on my mother’s side of the family has experienced diabetes of any type.
I have met African -American kids with type one diabetes in public schools in my work as a travelling speech pathologist, but have met very few adult type ones of African descent, except on diabetes websites like this one ( Shout out to Poor Diabetic and Betty J, for two)
Type 2 diabetes appears almost pandemic in many sectors of the African-American community. When around church and social groups of African -American men and women in my age range ( I am 55), I will dare say that 15 to 25% have Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes, from my experience. I have heard of studies that report this increased incidence among African-American and Hispanic popluations in the United States.
A few years ago,Dr. Kwame Osei, an endocrinologist here in Columbus At OSU, was studying the increased incidence of Type 2 in African-Americans, most of whom are of West AFrican descent ( ancestry); I think he compared these rates to those found in Ghana and other countries in West Africa, and found a much lower incidence in West Africa, though there is a common genetic ancestry… I will have to research his studies more closely to see if I have reported this info just right, but I think that is what he found.