Diabetes-related deaths hit all-time high in NYC

REEDLEY, CA - OCTOBER 21:  Seventeen year-old Marissa Hamilton stands on a scale during her weekly weigh-in at the Wellspring Academy October 21, 2009 in Reedley, California. Struggling with her weight, seventeen year-old Marissa Hamilton enrolled at the Wellspring Academy, a special school that helps teens and college level students lose weight along with academic courses. When Marissa first started her semester at Wellspring she weighed in at 340 pounds and has since dropped over 40 pounds of weight in the first two months of the program. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 percent of children in the US ages 6-19 years are overweight or obese, three times the amount since 1980.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The city’s Health Department reported on Monday that diabetes-related deaths have reached an all-time high in the city.

There were a record 5,695 deaths in 2011 in which diabetes was either an underlying cause or a contributing cause, according to the report. That adds up to one death every 90 minutes and 16 deaths a day in New York City.

“Diabetes is a condition that too many people live with and die from,” said Health Commissioner Thomas Farley. “It is linked to our epidemic of obesity, and like obesity, it can be prevented.”

Although the overall number of deaths has declined in the city, the number of diabetes-related deaths has been steadily increasing since 2007, the report shows.

Non-Hispanic blacks had the the highest diabetes-related mortality rate than any other racial/ethnic group, with 116 deaths per 100,000 population. The diabetes-related mortality rate was 2.7 times higher among individuals in high-poverty neighborhoods than in low-poverty neighborhoods. It was also 1.4 times higher among men than in women.

While the diabetes-related death rate was 19 per 100,000 in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan, it was 177 per 100,000 in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn—a nine-fold difference, the report shows.

Life-threatening complications of diabetes include heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. People with diabetes are twice as likely to die than other people their age without diabetes, according to the Health Department.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has maintained the importance of his proposed sugary drink regulation, often referred to as a “Soda Ban,” is evidenced by such studies, particularly the finding that diabetes hits lower-income communities the hardest.


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