ADA`s Hispanic Heritage Month Outreach
Source: American Diabetes Association Press Release


Good food, good music, and good conversation – three key ingredients to many Hispanic/Latino family gatherings. But what is missing from many of those get-togethers is a life-saving conversation about the family’s medical history.

This Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15), the American Diabetes Association is encouraging people to discuss any family history of diabetes, a conversation that could help stop diabetes before it starts.

Type 2 diabetes disproportionately affects Hispanics/Latinos. In fact, the rates of type 2 diabetes are almost double that of non-Hispanic whites. More than 10% of Hispanics/Latinos in the United States have been diagnosed with diabetes.

“It is particularly important for Hispanics/Latinos to know they are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes,” said Lorena Drago, RD, CDE, American Diabetes Association volunteer. “It is common for families to have multiple members with diabetes, but they never talk about it. These family discussions are necessary so everyone knows their risk, especially the younger generations.”

If current trends continue, 1 in 2 minorities born today will develop diabetes. Oftentimes type 2 diabetes is not diagnosed until one or more of its complications have begun to develop, including blindness, nerve damage or heart disease. Hispanics/Latinos are at higher risk for developing these complications.

The good news is type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with healthy eating and exercising. “By exercising 150 minutes a week, such as 30 minutes 5 days a week, and losing 5 %-10% of your body weight, you could reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%,” said Drago. “By making changes gradually, instead of all at once, you can stop type 2 diabetes from developing or stop diabetes complications from occurring.”

 

Originally posted by DiabetesCare.net on September 20, 2010.