Date of Award

Fall 12-21-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Ike Okosun

Second Advisor

Dr. Sheryl Strasser


Background: Type 2 diabetes (hereafter “diabetes) is the fourth leading cause of death amongst African American women and an increasing public health problem. Existing statistics show that African American adults are 50%-100% more likely to have diabetes than White Americans. The National Diabetes Statistics Report (2017) also noted that diabetes prevalence significantly varied by educational attainment with 12.6% of adults with less than a high school education compared to 9.5% of those with a high school education, and 7.2% of those with more than a high school education. There was a similar pattern observed when using socioeconomic status (SES) as a predictor for diabetes, with those at the lower end of the scale having a higher prevalence of diabetes compared to those at the higher end of the scale.

Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of 2015-2016 NHANES data analysis was conducted on both African American and Caucasian women between the ages of 20-79 to examine an association between predictors and diabetes. Chi-square statistical analysis was used for categorical variables, univariate analysis using logistic regression was performed to determine an association between age, race, BMI, educational attainment, education level, health insurance status, and physical activity. A multivariate analysis was conducted after controlling for covariates.

Results: Educational attainment as a predictor of diabetes was not statistically significant (p=0.8409) nor was income level (p=0.1881) and its association with the diabetes prevalence. Black women who made less than $20,000 yearly, comprised 16.81% (n=59) of the study population versus 6.58% (n=29) of white women in the same income category, p<0.0001.

Conclusion: The results of this study suggest the need for additional statistical analysis to analyze more modifiable risk factors not included in the present data analysis. Tailored programs for African American women combating diabetes should be prioritized as a critical need for these women in these communities.