According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), 4.9 million African-Americans have diabetes, which includes those who are diagnosed and undiagnosed. That means 18.7 percent of all non-Hispanic African-Americans aged 20 years or older have this life-altering disease.
If you have adult diabetes and have had it for less than 10 years, you may be eligible to join GRADE -- a study that provides FDA-approved diabetes medications at no cost. The study is designed to help participants improve control of adult diabetes.
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) is now recruiting participants for the Glycemia Reduction Approaches in Diabetes: A Comparative Effectiveness (GRADE) Study. It compares the long-term benefits and risks of four widely used diabetes drugs in combination with metformin, the most common first-line medication for treating type 2 diabetes. If metformin is not enough to help manage type 2 diabetes, a physician may add one of several other drugs to lower glucose (blood sugar).
While short-term studies have shown the efficacy of different drugs when used with metformin, there have been no long-term studies of which combination works best and has fewer side effects. The GRADE study compares drug effects on glucose levels, adverse effects, diabetes complications and quality of life over an average of nearly five years.
“Of the nearly 29 million Americans with diabetes, greater than 90 percent have type 2 diabetes,” explained Samuel Dagogo-Jack, MD, FRCP, director of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, and the General Clinical Research Center at UTHSC. “The GRADE study will literally grade the major classes of currently approved diabetes medications on their effectiveness in maintaining good blood sugar control, tolerability and other parameters.”
Further statistics from the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health show that “on average, African-Americans are twice as likely to have diabetes as whites. The highest incidence of diabetes in African-Americans occurs between 65-75 years of age. African-American women are especially affected. When adjusted for age, African-American women are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than non-Hispanic whites, African-American men, or Hispanics. African-Americans with diabetes are more likely to experience complications of diabetes. End-stage renal disease and amputations of lower extremities (legs and feet) are also more common in African-Americans with diabetes.”
To view more statistics on diabetes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services -- Office of Minority Health, visit: http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/templates/browse.aspx?lvl=3&lvlid=62#sthash.ftgexDc7.dpuf
ADA statistics show that a person diagnosed with diabetes at age 50 dies 6 years earlier than a counterpart without diabetes. Plus, diabetes kills more Americans every year than AIDS and breast cancer combined.
UTHSC is one of 36 U.S. centers participating in the GRADE study. If you have adult diabetes, have had it for less than 10 years, and currently only take metformin for diabetes control, you may be eligible to join the study.
For more information call (901) 516-2212 or visit www.GRADEstudy.org.