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Who Should Be Taking the Most Initiative to Stave Off Diabetes?

Diabetes conceptAs the regular eating habits of Americans declined in quality in recent years, the worry of high rates of diabetes has become more serious. But who is really at the most risk?

According to The Guardian, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have determined that diabetes rates in the United States have shockingly been falling as of late. However, there appears to be some disparities between races.

This is a huge step forward considering that from 1991 to 2009, the amount of new cases of diabetes each year climbed from 573,000 to a peak of 1.7 million.

This comes as a result of national obesity rates also decreasing. Obesity is directly linked to type 2 diabetes, accounting for 90 to 95% of all cases. This form of the disease is developed throughout a person’s life rather than from birth like type 1 (juvenile) diabetes.

These slowing rates of obesity can be attributed to an increase in the amount of fruit, vegetables and nuts that Americans are eating in place of sugar filled snacks, as reported by the Harvard School of Public Health. Even with 6,000 retail bakeries around the United States, people still seem to be avoiding the temptation.

Unfortunately, the Harvard study also found that diabetes diagnosis rates have not improved in certain demographics, including Hispanics and African Americans, mainly in disadvantaged communities. These people usually do not have the funds to afford better quality food, leading to higher rates of obesity.

Even though the United States has shown the most progress in fighting diabetes when compared to the rest of the world, there is hesitation to celebrate before all demographics are able to follow suit.

Even though these results are very promising for the future, those currently suffering from diabetes are still in hot water. Imperial Valley News of California has reported that women in particular may be facing more danger than any others.

According to a new American Heart Association study published in the association’s journal Circulation, women with type 2 diabetes are actually twice as likely to develop coronary heart disease as compared to men, even though both genders have similar rates of diabetes which affects about 12.6 million women and 13 million men age 20 and older in the United States.

“While we don’t fully understand how the inherent hormonal differences between men and women affect risk, we do know that some risk factors for heart disease and stroke affect women differently than men and there are disparities in how these risk factors are treated,” said Dr. Judith G. Regensteiner,professor of medicine and director of the University of Colorado School of Medicine Center for Women’s Health Research in Aurora.

While woman are more likely have heart attacks at a younger age and to even die after their first attack, they are also less likely to take cholesterol lowering drugs or to undergo procedures meant to open clogged arteries.

To make matters worse, African American and Hispanic women are even more disproportionately affected by coronary heart disease and strokes. Due to lower average incomes in these demographics, these women tend to have less access to healthier diets.

Overall, experts advise women to take more extensive measures than men to reduce their risk of heart disease and other diabetes-related illnesses through lifestyle changes such as improved diet and more physical activity.