LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) released statistics indicating Latino and African American adults have higher rates of diabetes (13.7% and 10.7%, respectively) than whites and Asians (8.2%). The trend confirms that diabetes continues to grow and is a significant chronic health disease.
“Diabetes is a costly and serious disease, often with severe health consequences,” said Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, MD, MPH, Interim Health Officer for Los Angeles County. “Diabetes increases risks of heart disease and stroke and can also lead to kidney disease and blindness. Fortunately, these grim complications can be prevented with medical treatment. On a hopeful note, the most common form of diabetes, type 2 diabetes, can be prevented by being more active, eating healthier, and losing weight.”
“Diabetes is impacting thousands of residents all across Los Angeles County, particularly in our most underserved, ethnic, and Latino communities. In fact, it is one of the leading health problems in my district,” said Chair of the Board of Supervisors Hilda L. Solis. “We need to continue our fight to raise awareness about the consequences of this terrible disease, encourage proper treatment, and promote preventative practices. It is imperative that we improve access for our residents to healthy food options, gyms and parks to encourage healthy and active life-styles for all.”
LA County adults (9.8%) have been diagnosed with diabetes. Among those with diabetes, an estimated 573,000 (76%) have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, 69,000 people (9%) have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and 114,000 (15%) do not know which type of diabetes they were diagnosed with by a medical professional. Adults with less than a high school education have a higher rate (14.9%) than those with a high school degree (9.3%), some college (8.5%), or a college degree (7.2%).
In LA County, more than 2 out of 5 adults have prediabetes or undiagnosed diabetes. Prediabetes means a person’s blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes.
For shining a light on prediabetes—a serious health condition that affects nearly 86 million Americans nationwide—and its efforts to prevent California residents from developing type 2 diabetes,” said AMA President Andrew W. Gurman, M.D. “The AMA has been working for several years to raise awareness of prediabetes and significantly increase the number of physicians and health care providers screening and testing patients for prediabetes. The AMA is currently working on the state level to develop models that can be used to support states, including California, as they adopt a similar process—helping even more Americans stave off or delay type 2 diabetes to improve health outcome