Cultural Messaging


Anchor lead: What can
be done about variable rates of diabetes among different ethnic groups?
Elizabeth Tracey reports

If you’re Hispanic, you have over a one in five chance of
developing diabetes, as is also the case for non-Hispanic blacks, a new study
looking at rates of type 2 diabetes among different ethnicities found. Rita
Kalyani, a diabetes expert at Johns Hopkins, says the study points to some
interventions that might help.

Kalyani: We have well-validated screening tools, risk tests
that have been demonstrated to be effective, but we need to make these
culturally tailored. We need to be able to disseminate them in a cultural
context, that makes sense to people of different races and ethnicities, so they
understand why it’s important to be screened, why it’s important to be treated,
and they can educate other members of their community. That would include
really targeting campaigns to different ethnic diets for instance, and what
parts of those diets, high carbohydrate, high rice, high bread, how they may
impact diabetes risk.  :32

Kalyani notes that one-third to one-half of people in this
study of all ethnicities did not know they had diabetes, putting them at risk
for cardiovascular problems. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.