Diabetes in African Americans: The Critical Importance of Cognitive Assessment

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Type 2 diabetes is a serious medical condition that disproportionately affects older African Americans. The population of older African Americans is projected to increase, and so will the incidence of type 2 diabetes and its related complications. An important consideration in the care of community-dwelling older African Americans with type 2 diabetes is cognitive assessment and optimization of screening for cognitive impairment when working with older African Americans. This article describes the role of the gerontological nurse in the assessment of cognition in older African Americans diagnosed with diabetes mellitus type 2 and recommends the Mini-Cog as a quick, reliable and culturally appropriate tool available for use in the screening process.

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