Navigate Up
UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Senior Manager
Telephone: 412-578-9193 or 412-624-3212


UPMC Experts

Trevor Orchard

High Mortality Rate among African Americans with Type 1 Diabetes due Largely to Acute Complications, Say University of Pittsburgh Researchers

SAN FRANCISCO, June 17, 2002 — While the rate of deaths related to type 1 diabetes is declining in the overall population, mortality among African Americans with the disease remains higher than in whites, and acute complications such as diabetic coma are to blame, according to a study being conducted in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Preliminary results of the study were presented today at the American Diabetes Association's 62nd Scientific Sessions in San Francisco by Zsolt Bosnyak, a research fellow at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH).

In the study, investigators are examining cause of death for 200 type 1 diabetic patients among a cohort of 1,261 patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes between 1965 and 1979. At 20 years follow-up, 15 percent of the African American patients had died, compared with 6 percent of the white patients, with mortality from acute complications seven times higher in African Americans.

"These results, while preliminary, suggest an inadequacy in care for African Americans with type 1 diabetes," said Trevor Orchard, M.D., professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh GSPH and senior researcher on the study. "This could be a result of issues such as access to care, or the availability of monitoring supplies and appropriate education about diabetes. It is critical that further studies are undertaken to identify the reasons for this disparity."

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com