Diabetes Mellitus is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, diabetes affects approximately 25.8 million (18.8 million diagnosed, 7 million undiagnosed) people age 20 years or older in the U.S. (8.3%). Of the 25.8 million people with diabetes, 24 million have type 2 diabetes. In addition, diabetics are at an increased risk for several health-related complications, including cardiovascular disease.1-2 there is a disproportionate risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular complications among Blacks compared to Whites. However, numerous studies that investigate Black/White health disparities fail to consider the influence of ethnic variation within the Black population. 1-4 recently, racial discrimination has received much attention in the literature as a possible stressor contributing to poor health outcomes and health disparities among the Black population. As evidenced by the vastly different histories of racial discrimination in the Caribbean and the U.S., racial discrimination is of great importance to understanding the health differences among U.S.-born Blacks and Caribbean-born Blacks residing in the U.S. However, the majority of studies involving racial discrimination and health outcomes do not address the ethnic/nativity health differences within the Black population living in the U.S., and specifically, the effects of discrimination on diabetes and cardiovascular complications, such as heart attacks and stroke.47-52, 60-75 Therefore, the goal of this study will be to examine the relationship between discrimination experiences, diabetes and cardiovascular complications among U.S.-born and Caribbean-born Blacks participating in the National Survey of American Life (NSAL). This proposal emphasizes the importance of considering ethnic diversity and discrimination as sources of dissimilarities in health outcomes within the Black Diaspora. Identifying the factors that interact with ethnicity, diabetes and cardiovascular complications in Caribbean-born Blacks will raise awareness of health differences that exist among different Black ethnic groups, distinguish high risk ethnic groups from low risk ethnic groups, identify health advantages and provide opportunities to intervene effectively among vulnerable racial sub groups.
Identifying factors, such as racial discrimination that may interact with ethnicity, diabetes and cardiovascular complications will raise public health awareness of disparities within the Black Diaspora, distinguish high risk from low risk Black ethnic groups and provide opportunities for appropriately targeted interventions.