this study evaluated several factors that were thought to contribute to African American women's disproportionate incidence and sequelae of diabetes.METHODS
African American women (1055) living in San Diego County completed surveys about diabetes-related beliefs, screening behaviors, knowledge, and attitudes. Participants' ages ranged from 20 to 94 years, and 33.7% of the women reported completing college.RESULTS
Mose of the women (59%) perceived diabetes to be a serious health threat to African American women. Thirty-two percent of the total sample and 37% of the high-risk group reported having been screened for diabetes within the past year. Nearly 37% reported never having been screened for diabetes, and 31% of those at above-average risk of developing diabetes could not recall ever having been screened. Women had a limited knowledge of the symptoms of diabetes, ways to decrease the risk factors and the sequelae of diabetes. Higher-risk women showed greater diabetes knowledge.CONCLUSIONS
Most participants reported that diabetes was a significant threat to their health but lacked sufficient knowledge to protect themselves from the disease. A focused, aggressive education campaign could yield better health outcomes.