Friday, October 31, 2008

Tennessee leads South in new diabetes' cases; number of cases doubles in 10 years; Hispanics and African-Americans are groups most at risk

A new study says the state of Tennessee has realized the largest percentage increase in new cases of diabetes in the South for the past 10 years, as this nation's epidemic begins to fall heavier on children and the obese.

The research covers 33 states. And the numbers involve type II diabetes, the same kind I have.

The Commercial-Appeal reported:

"The diabetes epidemic is raging across all demographic groups -- men, women, all racial/ethnic groups -- and is increasingly evident even in the teenage and adolescent age groups," said Dr. Sam Dagogo-Jack, director of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center's Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. He was not involved in the study.

"Society is unlikely to recover spontaneously from this epidemic; concerted effort at the personal, community, county, state, regional and national levels will be required to turn back the tide of the epidemic," he said.

The highest rate was reported in West Virginia, where about 13 of every 1,000 adults were diagnosed with the disease. The lowest was reported in Minnesota, where the rate is 5 in 1,000.

Among the 33 states included in the study, Tennessee had the sixth-highest rate, at 11 per 1,000 adults. Arkansas tied with Indiana for the 10th-highest rate, at 10.2.

While the UT analyst is right that the diabetes surge covers all peoples, it has traditionally hit heaviest among Hispanics and African-Americans. Our diets -- concentrated on white flour, beans and rice -- skyrocket sugar rates. These peoplss also rely heavily on frying foods. The foods and this cooking method contain carbohydrates and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

In addition, preventitive health care for these two groups have not been prevelant due to cost and unavailability.

The bottom line to fighting diabetes for everyone is exercise, reducing the intake of refined sugar, no white bread, staying away from all fast food, eating more vegetables and taking blood sugar measurements four times a day.

Indeed, lifestyles must change, immediately.

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