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Diabetes epidemic

Diabetes hits poor the hardest, report reveals

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 by: Ben Kage
Tags: diabetes epidemic, Type-2 diabetes, health news

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(NewsTarget) According to a new report entitled "Diabetes and the Disadvantaged: Reducing Health Inequalities in the U.K.," not only are roughly 3 million people expected to suffer from type 2 diabetes by 2010, but there is also a link between the disease and socioeconomic status.

The report -- published by Diabetes U.K. and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes for World Diabetes Day -- stated that residents of the poorest communities in Britain are 2.5 times more likely than higher socioeconomic groups to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. These poorer community members are also 3.5 times more likely to develop serious complications from the disorder, including heart disease, stroke and kidney damage.

One of the causes for this discrepancy is that people in poorer areas are less likely to have appropriate care available and are not getting the necessary tests -- blood glucose levels and blood pressure, for example -- to prevent complications.

"With late diagnosis, poor care and poor lifestyles compounding the difficult task of managing diabetes, people in deprived communities have a bleak future," said Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes U.K. "The diagnosis of diabetes exacerbates existing problems for people in diverse groups, who may already be struggling to cope. It will take a huge shift in both attitudes and services to reverse this pattern for future generations."

"Not only is diabetes more common among disadvantaged groups, but the impact it has on their long-term health is worse," said Adrian Sanders, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes. "The service frameworks for diabetes in the four nations have placed emphasis on empowering people with diabetes to support their own care management, but if people aren't accessing this care or social barriers are preventing them from accessing care, their condition is likely to deteriorate."

"Part of the reason diabetes has such a devastating impact on the poor is because governments around the world continue to subsidize and promote the foods and food ingredients that cause diabetes," said Mike Adams, author of "How to Halt Diabetes in 25 Days." "In the United States, for example, taxpayers actually subsidize refined white sugar, and government agricultural policies further subsidize refined grains like corn. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture actually encourages Americans to eat more grains and carbohydrates through its industry-biased Food Guide Pyramid. It's as if the population was being intentionally fattened up like cattle."


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