What is Diabetes?
"Diabetes is a disease in which
the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone
that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed
for daily life" (ADA
Website) Yet, the cause of Diabetes remains a mystery.
By the Numbers:
o In 1998, of the 30 million Latinos
in the United States, around 1.2 million were diagnosed with diabetes.
o In 1997, of the 500,000 Latinos in California who had diabetes, the
majority were of Mexican origin.
o In about 1/3 of Latinos with diabetes, the disease is undiagnosed.3
o The prevalence of diabetes in Mexican Americans is 1.8 times higher
than in non-Latino whites.
o More than 10% of all Mexican Americans 20 years or older have diabetes.
o One of every four Mexican Americans age 45 or older has diabetes.
o Both in California and nationwide, diabetes is the 5th leading cause
of death among Latinos , and the 4th leading cause of death among Latina
women and the Latino elderly.
(Statistics from California
Mexican Health Initiative)
What Does All This Mean?
To put this in a simple manner,
the numbers are growing and as parents we need to identify behaviors
within our own daily lives that may contribute to the onset of diabetes
in our youth.
What is Being Done?
Beginning in 2002, the Center
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began collecting data through
a program named SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth. The study is being conducted
in several centers across the nation in an effort to find out more about
Diabetes, how it is caused, and to also create new methods of prevention.
Although this is the most current
information about such studies, groups like the California Mexican Health
Initiative and also the National Latino Health Initiative are also creating
websites full of information in both English and Spanish to help educate
parents as well as children.
For more information on this and
other programs, please follow the links to your right.
to Site with More Information
This site contains information regarding Diabetes as well
as ideas for prevention. Included in the site are statistics, prevention,
and education for all.
and Diabetes Fact Sheet
This site contains general facts
with regard to the Hispanic population and Diabetes. This research was
compiled by the California Mexican Health Initiative at the University
of California, Berkeley.
for Diabetes in Youth
This site offers a layout of the
current program in place, which is run by the Center for Disease Control
and Prevention. It is a multi-center study being done to better understand
the causes of diabetes and also to seek new ways of prevention.
Latino Health Initiative
This site contains information
about programs available as well as the latest information regarding prevention
and education of diseases affecting Hispanics. Also included within this
site is the National Latino
Diabetes Initiative , which is specifically listed for efforts to
educate about Diabetes.