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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Racial Discrimination by Diabetes

It is illegal and unconstitutional, but diabetes could not care less!

Diabetes preys on ethnic minorities. Africans, Asians, and Polynesians are far more likely to suffer from diabetes than white Caucasians.

That does not mean you escape by being part of the mainstream, but diabetes is a much greater threat for the illiterate, poor, and those without access to health care. Such groups are more common amongst ethnic minorities than amongst white Caucasians, though I am not sure of the reasons for such linkages between prosperity and skin colors! There are the wealthy in all communities, but much of the third world lives in Asia, Africa, and isolated islands of the Pacific. They are also in the east sides of U.S. cities, and in neglected parts of the U.K. and Europe as well.

Diabetes screening amongst the poor and the illiterate needs the kind of support that AIDS and some vector borne and other infectious diseases have. The screening has to be by way of comprehensive blood glucose testing, using hygienic and safe phlebotomy. That is quite a demand, but the investments will yield massive public health returns.

Please write to me if you would like detailed guidelines on how to conduct a proper diabetes screening program amongst the ethnic minorities and poor in your neighborhood.


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