Health | Opinion

Opinion: Good news coming from Indian Country on diabetes

"Nearly one in four U.S. teens has diabetes or pre-diabetes. The number of those affected has raced out of control, from 9.9 percent in 2000 to 23 percent in 2008, according to the June issue of Pediatrics.

This news doesn’t bode well for kids throughout America, who are losing ground daily to the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last year that 8.3 percent of the U.S. population or about 25.8 million Americans, now have diabetes and more than one-third of U.S. children born in 2000 will suffer from the disease if current trends continue. Unfortunately, no one seems to have found the brake pedal for this runaway epidemic.

Good news, however, appears to be coming from — of all places — Indian country. Despite the fact that American Indians and Alaska Natives still suffer from Type 2 diabetes at a rate more than twice the national average, new evidence indicates that tribes, the Indian Health Service and urban Indian clinics are beginning to successfully combat the disease. The Special Diabetes Program for Indians in particular is reporting some remarkable outcomes."

Get the Story:
Dave Baldridge: Combating diabetes in the American Indian community (PBS 8/15)

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