Latinos fall 2nd minority victims diabetes
SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, CA – During the month of November health care organizations advocate to better educating the communities across the nation on diabetes as part of the American Diabetes Month. Worldwide Diabetes Day was observed during November 14th.
The United States Department of Health Human Services (USDHHS) reports that diabetes is documented to be the sixth (6) leading cause of death as a result of its complications. When comparing the San Joaquin County (SJC) Public Health 2011 Health Status Report which estimates 26 million U.S. residents to live with diabetes; an increase of 10 million if compared to the 1999 USDHHS report.
According to SJC Public Health, 8.7 percent of residents live with diabetes in the County; therefore, 59,621 residents out of 685,306 have developed diabetes. The report notes that 4 out of 5 of adult cases are adult onset type 2 diabetes —a preventable chronic disease.
While both nationally and locally, the Latino population follow the leading Non-Hispanic African American minority who suffers from the highest death rate caused by diabetes. Throughout the United States, 10.8 percent of non-Hispanic African Americans have Diabetes and Latinos are close with 10.6 percent. Among Hispanics/Latinos, diabetes prevalence rates 11.9 percent for Mexican-Americans, 12.6 percent for Puerto Ricans and are 8.2 percent for Cubans.
Diabetes, also called Diabetes mellitus, is a chronic illness that is characterized by a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced.
There are three types of Diabetes, Type 1 and 2 are incurable yet manageable. Type 1, also called Juvenile Diabetes begins in childhood and is caused by the body’s inability to produce insulin and Type 2, is caused by environmental factors that result in insulin resistance. The 3rd is gestational diabetes which is pregnancy onset and thus usually disappears after childbirth.
According to the American Diabetes Association, Diabetes often goes undiagnosed because many of its symptoms seem harmless:
Type 1 diabetes symptoms
• Frequent urination
• Unusual thirst
• Extreme hunger
• Unusual weight loss
• Extreme fatigue and irritability
Type 2 diabetes symptoms*
• Any of the type 1 symptoms
• Frequent infections
• Blurred vision
• Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
• Tingling/numbness in the hands/feet
• Recurring skin, gum or bladder infections
*Often people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms.
“Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed. Thirty minutes a day, five days a week, of moderate physical activity (such as brisk walking) and a 7% reduction in body weight (or about 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds) can help lower your risk for type 2 diabetes,” commented Mayer-Davis. “In addition, many diabetes complications, whether you have type 1 or type 2, can be prevented or delayed with exercise and healthy eating and keeping blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible.”
For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.