(HealthDay) – Black people have higher diabetes death rates than whites in the 30 largest cities in the United States, according to a new study.
According to researcher Joanna Buscemi of DePaul University in Chicago, capping the price of insulin could fill this race gap. Insulin drugs are needed by all people with type 1 diabetes and many people with type 2, the most common form of the disease.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has raised awareness of the racial health differences in the US,” Buscemi said, noting that black Americans are more likely to die from both COVID-19 and diabetes.
According to Buscemi, a psychologist and assistant professor at the College of Science and Health, improving policies and conditions that affect patients with diabetes could help the same people if they contract the virus that causes COVID-19.
“If you can’t afford insulin and if your disease is left untreated, the consequences of contracting COVID will be greater,” Buscemi said in a university press release.
The study analyzed data from the cities over two five-year periods and found that 22 had a higher diabetes death rate than the overall US rate.
The cities with the highest diabetes death rates were El Paso, Texas; Memphis, Tenn .; and Baltimore, Md.
The worst inequality was in Washington, DC, where black residents were almost seven times more likely to die of diabetes than white residents.
The study also found that this race gap is increasing in several cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, and Oklahoma City, while it is decreasing in Louisville, Kentucky and Phoenix, Arizona.
In addition to eliminating the cut in the price of insulin, the study found that other ways to address the problem include reducing income inequality, providing affordable health care, improving the availability of healthy food, and providing safe places to exercise.
The results were recently published in the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice.
Health differences between type 1 diabetes and COVID-19 infection
The American Academy of Family Physicians is more concerned with diabetes.
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