Results from an analysis of US respondents from Novo Nordisk’s Diabetes Attitudes, Wishes and Needs 2 (DAWN2™) study were published recently in Current Medical Research and Opinion. The study shows that minority populations in the US with diabetes, including African Americans, Chinese Americans, and Hispanics, reported positive psychological well-being, better quality of life, and feeling more empowered with respect to their diabetes compared with non-Hispanic whites. However, the minority groups experienced higher levels of diabetes-related distress, which may impact diabetes outcomes. DAWN2™ is the largest global study to explore the unmet needs of people with diabetes.

“Despite the fact that minority populations are at increased risk for diabetes-related physical health problems and complications, minority groups in this study reported better quality of life and increased empowerment compared with non-Hispanic whites, but they struggle with diabetes distress,” said Professor Mark Peyrot, Professor and Chair of Sociology, Loyola University Maryland and principal investigator of the DAWN2™ study. “It is important that diabetes care teams be aware of the differences among the diverse populations living with the disease in the United States in order to tailor their approaches to improve the psychological well-being of people with diabetes.”

Specifically, the US DAWN2™ findings showed:


  • African Americans reported the most positive psychological outcomes, including well-being, quality of life, and impact of diabetes on various aspects of daily life, and the lowest distress of the three minority groups
  • All three minority groups reported higher levels of diabetes distress compared with non-Hispanic whites
  • For the most part, all three ethnic groups reported slightly higher levels of diabetes burden compared with non-Hispanic whites. This includes worrying about low blood sugar, dietary restrictions, and perceived diabetes discrimination
  • Interestingly, worrying about weight, low blood sugar, and discrimination was associated with increased empowerment for adults with diabetes. All three minority groups reported feeling more empowered with respect to their diabetes compared with non-Hispanic whites
  • A strong association was seen between receiving person-centered care and a greater feeling of empowerment


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