Start Spreadin' the News... They're Here to Stay... New York, New Yooooorrrk!
Sorry, it's just that quite a few people emailed me urgently on this one, and I'm reeling... The New York Times reports that an estimated 800,000 adult New Yorkers -- more than one in every eight people in that city -- now have diabetes. City health officials are describing the problem as a "bona fide epidemic."
The (grueling) article notes:
Already, diabetes has swept through families, entire neighborhoods in the Bronx and broad slices of Brooklyn, where it is such a fact of life that people describe it casually, almost comfortably, as "getting the sugar" or having "the sweet blood."
But as alarmed as health officials are about the present, they worry more about what is to come.
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The percentage of diabetics in the city is nearly a third higher than in the nation. New cases have been cropping up close to twice as fast as cases nationally. And of adults believed to have the illness, health officials estimate, nearly one-third do not know it.
As Dr. Fuhrman of DiseaseProof notes, the danger is twofold: Not only is diabetes itself dangerous (complications!), but more than 70 percent of adults with Type 2 diabetes die of heart attacks and stroke.
This may go a ways toward excusing (er, explaining) the city's recently announced plan to track people with diabetes, requiring them to forward their BG test results to the City Health Department -- which understandably created quite a hullaballoo.
I personally stand with Elizabeth Snouffer of Diabetes 24/7 in my new-found ambiguity on this program. Is it possible that some kind of tracking program could have made a difference for my father, who died of the effects of poorly cared-for Type 2 diabetes DECADES before he should have? I just don't know.