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Black Women at Highest Risk for Diabetes

     

      (NUISM) - A 9-year study of more than 12,000 middle-aged Americans has concluded with significant implications. Re-searchers analyzed data from adults ages 45 to 64 participating in a nationwide study on hardening of the arteries, and found that obesity, poor diet, lack of exercise and other lifestyle factors were major contributors to diabetes.

      The number of blacks and whites who developed diabetes were compared over a 9-year follow-up. Results showed 459 blacks and 966 whites developed the disease over that 9-year period.

      Among the findings:

      o Black women were two-and-a-half times more likely to develop diabetes than white women.

      o Black men were one-and-a-half times more likely to develop diabetes than white men.

      o "Modifiable" factors including obesity, poor diet and lack of exercise accounted for 47.8 percent of the excess risk in black women.

      o Lifestyle factors only played a minimal role in diabetes in black men.

      These results are not surprising since it is a known fact that overweight people are more likely to develop diabetes. Good diet, exercise and weight loss improve the body''s use of insulin, a hormone that processes blood sugar.

      Type 2 diabetes, in which the body cannot produce enough or properly use insulin, occurs in about 90 percent of diabetes cases. Diabetes contributes to more than 300,000 U.S. deaths annually and accounts for $100 billion in medical costs. The implications of this study are unique - showing the contributing factors of diabetes are often in the control of the individual.

      How much do you know about diabetes? Take this brief quiz to test your knowledge.

      1) Nearly all Americans with diabetes are aware of their condition.

      -True -False

      2) Eating a high sugar diet can cause diabetes.

      -True -False

      3) African-Americans and Hispanics are at increased risk of diabetes.

      -True -False

      4) Diabetics should never drink alcohol.

      -True -False

      5) Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness.

      -True -False

      6) Most cases of diabetes are diagnosed in children.

      -True -False

      Diabetes is the most common cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD), a serious condition in which the kidneys fail to rid the body of wastes. Each year in the United States, more than 50,000 people are diagnosed with ESRD.

      The American Society of Nephrology is a not-for-profit organization of 7,000 physicians and scientists dedicated to enhancing and assisting the study and practice of nephrology and providing a forum for the promulgation of research on kidney diseases. For more information, please contact ASN Headquarters at (202) 857-1190.

     

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