Diabetes Takes Disproportionate Toll On Hispanics And Blacks

Diabetes graphic
Connecticut’s diabetes rate ranks lower than the national average, but Hispanics and African-Americans are more than twice as likely to have the disease compared with their white neighbors and are at greater risk of dying from diabetes-related causes.
Approximately 250,000 Connecticut adults (8 percent) have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and an estimated 83,000 state residents don’t realize they have the disease, according to 2011-13 data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nationally, 29.1 million people (9.3 percent) have diabetes and 8.1 million people don’t know they have the disease, reports the CDC.
Connecticut’s Hispanics (14.6 percent) and African-Americans (14.1 percent) have significantly higher rates of diabetes than whites (6.7 percent). In addition, adults with annual household incomes below $25,000 are 2.3 times more likely to have diagnosed diabetes compared with adults with household incomes over $75,000, according to the CDC.
Health experts cite multiple barriers to comprehensive diabetes care, including inadequate prescription coverage for costly medications and testing supplies; a shortage of Spanish-speaking medical specialists and community health workers; insensitivity among health care providers to cultural food preferences; a lack of neighborhood markets offering healthy foods; and a dearth of safe recreational opportunities.
“We need a more comprehensive set of solutions that happen at the neighborhood level to get at the root causes of diabetes,” said Dr. Mehul Dalal, chronic disease director for the state Department of Public Health. He said the data show “shocking disparities.”
The “Silent Killer”
Diabetes occurs when blood sugar (also known as glucose) levels remain abnormally high because the body…….
To read full story: http://c-hit.org/2015/01/18/diabetes-takes-disproportionate-toll-on-hispanics-and-blacks/

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