November was officially proclaimed the Diabetes Awareness Month by the Board of Supervisors, as around 40 percent of Los Angeles County residents are at risk of developing this condition, while other 10 percent were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
According to Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, health officer for Los Angeles County, Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of serious long-term consequences such as blindness, kidney disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions.
Based on the estimates, around 758,000 residents in Los Angeles County received a diabetes diagnosis, whereas 75 percent of these cases consist of Type 2 diabetes. Experts underline that this disease is preventable through healthy dietary habits and physical exercises.
Those who are most at risk are black and Latino residents, according to Supervisor Solis Hilda. She also adds that this disease has a higher prevalence in low and middle-income communities.
Public health care officials are doing their best to raise awareness regarding the consequences of diabetes, as they are trying to inform and educate people about the risks. Local communities will have better access to healthier food options, gyms, parks, and other recreational activities that will improve people’s lifestyle.
Around six billion dollars are spent on diabetes medications every year in Los Angeles County. Those who are prone to develop this condition have blood sugar levels higher than average. Many residents are not aware that they might have Type 2 diabetes, and that is why the Department of Public Health is encouraging all residents to verify their status in order to reduce the risks of developing this condition.
Diabetes has taken its toll on the young population as well, because the pre-diabetes and diabetes rates have been three times higher over the past several years. More precisely, nine percent was recorded between 1999 and 2000 and another 23 percent increase between 2007 and 2008.
Doctors claim that these rates originate from the fact that children and teenagers eat a lot of junk food and have a poor sleep quality.
Also, many of them are either overweight or obese, meaning that they have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular conditions. Experts strongly recommend parents to encourage their children to improve their lifestyle through healthy diets and fitness.
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