Friday, November 14, 2008

World Diabetes Day!

Diabetes is an epidemic that plagues this country. And I guarantee that you know at least one diabetic person. Many family members of mine suffer at the hands of diabetes. I saw my grandmother go through much difficulty towards the end of her life, losing both her legs. It breaks my heart to see people suffer like that.


Major Types of Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes
Results from the body's failure to produce insulin, the hormone that "unlocks" the cells of the body, allowing glucose to enter and fuel them. It is estimated that 5-10% of Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes
Results from insulin resistance (a condition in which the body fails to properly use insulin), combined with relative insulin deficiency. Most Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes
Immediately after pregnancy, 5% to 10% of women with gestational diabetes are found to have diabetes, usually, type 2.

Pre-diabetes is a condition that occurs when a person's blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. There are 57 million Americans who have pre-diabetes, in addition to the 23.6 million with diabetes.


Diabetes is controllable with diet, exercise, medication, etc. and there are major efforts set forth to find a cure. According to the American Diabetes Association:

Total: 23.6 million children and adults -- 8.0% of the population -- have diabetes.

Diagnosed: 17.9 million people

Undiagnosed: 5.7 million people

Pre-diabetes: 57 million people

1.6 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 20 years or older in 2007.


Minority groups are hit hard by this epidemic. Here are more statistics from the American Diabetes Association:

Race and ethnic differences in prevalence of diagnosed diabetes

Sufficient data are not available to derive prevalence estimates of both diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes for all minority populations. For example, national survey data can not provide reliable estimates for the Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander population. However, national estimates of diagnosed diabetes for certain minority groups are available from national survey data and from the Indian Health Service (IHS) user population database, which includes data for approximately 1.4 million American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States who receive healthcare from the IHS. Because most minority populations are younger and tend to develop diabetes at earlier ages than the non-Hispanic white population, it is important to control for population age differences when making race and ethnic comparisons.

  • Data from the 2005 IHS user population database indicate that 14.2% of the American Indians and Alaska Natives aged 20 years or older who received care from IHS had diagnosed diabetes. After adjusting for population age differences, 16.5% of the total adult population served by IHS had diagnosed diabetes, with rates varying by region from 6.0% among Alaska Native adults to 29.3% among American Indian adults in southern Arizona.
  • After adjusting for population age differences, 2004-2006 national survey data for people diagnosed with diabetes, aged 20 years or older include the following prevalence by race/ethnicity:
    • 6.6% of non-Hispanic whites
    • 7.5% of Asian Americans
    • 10.4% of Hispanics
    • 11.8% of non-Hispanic blacks
  • Among Hispanics rates were:
    • 8.2% for Cubans
    • 11.9% for Mexican Americans
    • 12.6% for Puerto Ricans.


While I feel for all people who are diabetic, my heart especially goes out to all Native Americans who do not have the resources to control their diabetes. Here is a nation who has been stripped of their traditional way of life and way of survival, who have been mistreated as a nation and a race at the hands of greed, and now as a result suffer tremendously from very poor health.

According to the Diabetes Monitor:

How Many American Indians and

Alaska Natives Have Diabetes?

Type 2 Diabetes

About 15 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives who receive care from the Indian Health Service have been diagnosed with diabetes, a total of 105,000 people. On average, American Indians and Alaska Natives are 2.6 times as likely to have diagnosed diabetes as non-Hispanic whites of a similar age.5 The available data probably underestimate the true prevalence of diabetes in this population. For example, 40 to 70 percent of American Indian adults age 45 to 74 were found to have diabetes in a recent screening study in three geographic areas.6 Data from the Navajo Health and Nutrition Survey, published in 1997, showed that 22.9 percent of Navajo adults age 20 and older had diabetes. Fourteen percent had a history of diabetes, but another 7 percent were found to have undiagnosed diabetes during the survey.7

Type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly common in youth. Researchers studying 5,274 Pima Indian children from 1967 to 1996 found that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in girls ages 10 to 14 increased from 0.72 percent in the period 1967 to 1976 to 2.88 percent in the period 1987 to 1996.3 Reports include an increasing incidence in First Nation populations in Canada.8

In 1998, about 70,000 of the 2.3 million self-identified American Indians/Alaska Natives who receive care from the IHS had diabetes.9 Diabetes rates for American Indians vary by tribal group, as shown in table 1.

Diabetes is particularly common among middle-age and older American Indians and Alaska Natives. Its prevalence in American Indians and Alaska Natives, compared with that of non-Hispanic whites by age group and sex, is shown in table 2.

TABLE 1.--Age-adjusted prevalence of diagnosed diabetes among American Indians/Alaska Natives, age 20 and older, by group of tribes--United States, 1997.

Group of Tribes Geographic Area Prevalence (%)
Alaska Alaska 4.4
Atlantic Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas 21.0
Great Lakes Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin 15.2
Northern Plains Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming 16.3
Pacific Tribes California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington 7.0
Southern Plains Kansas, Oklahoma 9.6
Southwest Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah 13.9

Note: Age-adjusted to the 1980 U.S. population; prevalance is per 100 persons. Data on American Indians/Alaska Natives are from the 1997 Indian Health Service (IHS) Patient Care Component file; excludes data from 27 (representing 12 percent of the population served by IHS) of the 145 IHS service units that report data to the IHS because the data were incomplete.

Source: Ríos Burrows (1999, July 26).10

Something must be done to help these people to give them a life that allows them to manage their disease. More to come on this subject soon!!!!



And of course, how could I not talk about diabetes and show my favorite movie preview, Raw For 30 Days!!!?

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