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Dr. Otis Kirksey on How Diabetes Impacts Black People

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If type 2 diabetes is a public health crisis, then it’s virtually an epidemic in the Black community.

The average African American born today has a 50% chance of developing type 2 in his or her lifetime, according to this report. Plus, Black people are twice as likely to die from it than whites, and are 1.5 to 2.5 times more likely to have limbs amputated because of it.

There’s a great chance you know someone who has it. You might even have a loved one who is prediabetic – meaning their blood sugar levels are above normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2.

All signs indicate that this scourge will only worsen. However, scores of dedicated medical professionals are working to stop this disease.

Among them is Dr. Otis Kirksey, a Florida A&M University graduate who now serves as the American Diabetes Association’s President of Health Care and Education. In a virtual discussion with Black Men’s Health, Kirksey detailed how the disease has impacted his family and shaped his career in his full time role as Director of Pharmacy Services for the Neighborhood Medical Center in Tallahassee, Florida.  

The Daytona Beach native touched on the disease’s particular impact on Black men. He also talks about new measures that will give people access to healthcare, medicine, and technology to better manage their diabetes.

Tap into our discussion with this Black History Maker about one of the most critical medical issues of our time.

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