With nearly 10 percent of adults in Los Angeles County diagnosed with diabetes and more than 40 percent prediabetic, the Board of Supervisors Tuesday proclaimed November as Diabetes Awareness Month.
“Diabetes is a costly and serious disease, often with severe health consequences,” said Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, the county’s interim health officer. “Diabetes increases risks of heart disease and stroke and can also lead to kidney disease and blindness.”
An estimated 758,000 Los Angeles County adults have been diagnosed with diabetes. Just over three-quarters of those have the most common form of diabetes, Type 2, which can be prevented with exercise and healthy eating.
The disease is more prevalent in Latino and black residents, a finding highlighted by Supervisor Hilda Solis.
“Diabetes is impacting thousands of residents all across Los Angeles County, particularly in our most underserved, ethnic and Latino communities,” Solis said.
“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.”
The total direct cost of treating diabetes in Los Angeles County is estimated to be as much as $6 billion annually.
Rates of diabetes and prediabetes — which means a person’s blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diabetic — are increasing.
The Department of Public Health is working to help residents identify their status and prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. More information is available at www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention and https://doihaveprediabetes.org.
—City News Service