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Diabetes is a problem of significant impact in many Native American populations. However, significant disparity has been shown in the prevalence of diabetes and its associated complications among various tribes across the U.S. Much of what is known about diabetes in Native Americans has come from epidemiologic research conducted among the Pima tribe in Arizona and, more recently, from tribes in three geographic US regions (Arizona, Oklahoma, North and South Dakota) from the Strong Heart Study. Very few studies have examined the impact of diabetes among Native Americans in the Southeast, and only one study has documented the prevalence of diabetes and its complications among a tribe in North Carolina, that being the Eastern Band Cherokee, the only federally recognized tribe in the state. North Carolina has one of the largest concentrations of Native Americans in the country, and the Lumbee tribe is the second largest east of the Mississippi. The purpose of the proposed project is to develop a pilot telephone survey to document the prevalence of diabetes and its complications and risk factors among Native Americans in North Carolina, and to document the feasibility of conducting a full-scale survey in this population. Data from the proposed study will be combined with data from a proposed pilot survey among Lumbee Indians in Robeson County, and will be used in the development of a larger project for a collaborative research project with Dr. Elizabeth Mayer-Davis at the University of South Carolina to institute a surveillance system for Native Americans in North and South Carolina.
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