Ethnic minority groups (African Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans) are disproportionately affected by higher prevalence, complication and mortality from type 2 diabetes compared with Caucasians. Insulin resistance and P-cell failure play important roles in the evolution of type 2 diabetes in ethnic minority patients. Anti-diabetic agents, particularly those that correct insulin resistance are effective in patients from ethnic minority populations. Adequate glycemic control is the key to preventing complications of diabetes. Barriers to effective diabetes care should be identified and corrected in patients who are not optimally controlled. Primary prevention of type 2 diabetes is achievable and should be pursued vigorously in ethnic minority populations.
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