From 1990 to 2000, diabetes deaths soared 53% among residents of Los Angeles County,
according to health officials.
The findings, reported Thursday at a meeting of the American College of Preventive
Medicine in San Diego, were extrapolated from a review of death certificates
of Los Angeles County residents from 1990-2000.
Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of public health at the Los Angeles Department
of Health Services said, “Increasing obesity is the major factor driving
the escalating rates of diabetes in Los Angeles and across the nation.”
"We're going to see more increases in diabetes, as well as high blood
pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease."
Some racial disparities were observed. Compared with whites and Asians/Pacific
Islanders, the risk of dying from diabetes was more than two times higher for
blacks and one-and-a-half times higher for Latinos.
To help curb diabetes and other major killers, Dr. Fielding said, physicians
need to "continue to focus on prevention" and "work harder in
partnership with their patients to get good levels of compliance."
It's critical that doctors treating diabetics try to minimize heart disease
risk factors, such as smoking and high cholesterol, he added.