Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Diabetes alarm raised - First Nations women face future with disease (Canada)

Canada's diabetes epidemic is hitting First Nations women so hard that almost half of them develop the disease, often at a young age. "It's horrible," said Dr. Roland Dyck of the University of Saskatchewan, the lead author of a new study that reveals "striking" sexual and racial differences in Canada's escalating diabetes epidemic. "Diabetes is a disease of young First Nations adults with a marked predilection for women; in contrast, diabetes is a disease of aging non-First Nations adults that is more common in men," says the study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. It looked at more than 90,000 diabetics in Saskatchewan since 1980 and gives the clearest picture yet of differences that likely occur across Canada, says Dyck, who has been studying the relentless rise in diabetes rates for 20 years. He and his colleagues suggest the disease is so insidious that First Nations women and their children are increasingly caught in a "vicious cycle" that sees the rates go up in each generation. "And it's not going to level off unless we do something to intervene," Dyck said, stressing the need for earlier and more effective prevention programs - CMAJ

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