03/28/07 Rob Lorei
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From the Alternet web site: Nearly 21 million Americans are believed to be diabetic, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and 41 million more are prediabetic -- their blood sugar is high and could reach the diabetic level if they do not alter their living habits. Nationwide, the disease's cost for 2002 -- from medical bills to disability payments and lost workdays -- was conservatively estimated by the American Diabetes Association at $132 billion. All cancers, taken together, cost the country about $171 billion a year.

The disease could actually lower the average life expectancy of Americans for the first time in more than a century. According to the CDC, one in three children born in the United States five years ago are expected to become diabetic in their lifetime, and a child found to have Type 2 diabetes at age 10 will see his or her life shortened by 19 years.


According to the Office of Minority Health and the American Diabetes Association, the threat of diabetes is related to ethnicity and economic class. African Americans are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes as non-Hispanic whites. One in every four African-American women over 55 has diabetes. And African Americans are 2.1 times more likely as non-Hispanic whites to die from diabetes.

NEAL BARNARD, M.D., is the author of several books:Eat Right, Live Longer; Food for Life; and his latest, Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes Without Drugs. He discussed his new book today on WMNF.


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