Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Diabetes in East Harlem

A few excerpts from an article in the NY Times about diabetes in my neighborhood (full text available here).

"East Harlem is roughly 90 percent Hispanic and black, groups believed to have a genetic predisposition to the disease, explains part of the problem. There are also other factors: bad food habits, little exercise, rampant poverty and, according to health officials, poor access to medical care."

"Precise numbers are hard to ascertain, but the prevalence of the disease, factoring in an estimate for undiagnosed cases, has fluctuated in recent city health department surveys between 16 percent and 20 percent, as many as one in five adults."

"Go north and the chances of bumping into a diabetic are maybe 20 times greater than if you go south. For the Upper East Side, according to the health department, has the lowest prevalence in the city, about 1 percent."

"A study several years ago that tracked the availability of diet soda, low-fat or fat-free milk, high-fiber bread, fresh fruit and fresh vegetables in food stores in East Harlem and the Upper East Side....stores on the Upper East Side were more than three times more likely than those in East Harlem to stock all five items. It did not seem to matter that East Harlem has more than twice as many food stores per capita as its wealthier neighbor to the south."

Xiomariz compares having diabetes to having "a cold."


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