When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

09 January 2006

Diabetes in New York

Hmm... maybe this is why it's so hard to get an appointment with my endocrinologist:
An estimated 800,000 adult New Yorkers - more than one in every eight - now have diabetes, and city health officials describe the problem as a bona fide epidemic. Diabetes is the only major disease in the city that is growing, both in the number of new cases and the number of people it kills. And it is growing quickly, even as other scourges like heart disease and cancers are stable or in decline.

Already, diabetes has swept through families, entire neighborhoods in the Bronx and broad slices of Brooklyn, where it is such a fact of life that people describe it casually, almost comfortably, as "getting the sugar" or having "the sweet blood."

But as alarmed as health officials are about the present, they worry more about what is to come.
It's a long, gruesome, and generally very good article in this morning's Times about New York City's experience with diabetes as a disease, which in some ways mirrors the rest of the nation's, and in some ways is much worse:
The percentage of diabetics in the city is nearly a third higher than in the nation. New cases have been cropping up close to twice as fast as cases nationally. And of adults believed to have the illness, health officials estimate, nearly one-third do not know it.
Diabetes and Its Awful Toll Quietly Emerge as a Crisis - New York Times

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