Rate Of Undiagnosed Diabetes Cases Among Hispanic, Black Men Declining

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Black and Hispanic men no longer are less likely than whites to beunaware that they have diabetes, according to a report published Mondayin the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Reuters reports.

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For the report, RANDresearcher James Smith tracked all diabetes cases in U.S. men duringthree periods beginning in 1976 and ending in 2002. Among Hispanic men,65% with diabetes were undiagnosed during the period from 1976 to 1980,compared with 21% during the period from 1999 to 2002, according to thestudy. The rate of undiagnosed cases among black men fell from 45% from1988 to 1994, to 24% during the 1999 to 2002 period.

Overall,48% of diabetes cases in all U.S. men during the period from 1976 to1980 were undiagnosed, compared to 22% during the 1999 to 2002 period.The study did not look at women's rates of undiagnosed diabetes becausethe government survey data used for the study did not consistentlyaccount for gestational diabetes. However, Smith said the surveyresults suggest that women's rates also are declining. He added thatpublic health education efforts that encourage minorities to be testedfor diabetes have been effective in eliminating the racial and ethnicdisparities among U.S. men with undiagnosed diabetes.

He saidthe findings also suggest that the increase of diabetes among U.S.residents might not be as dramatic as some experts have predicted."People talk about a doubling in the prevalence rates of diabetes. Itis a serious disease and it is, in fact, increasing. But it'sincreasing more like 50% rather than doubling," Smith said (Dunham, Reuters, 8/13).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser WeeklyHealth Disparities Report,search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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