|Lifestyle Changes Can Help Older Hispanics Manage
Diabetes is one of the most serious health issues facing older
Hispanics in the United States. On average, Hispanic Americans
are almost twice as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites
and to develop complications such as heart disease, high blood
pressure, blindness, and kidney disease. Diabetes is the fourth
leading cause of death among Hispanics age 65 and older. The good
news is that careful control of blood glucose, blood pressure,
and cholesterol can help prevent or delay diabetes and its complications.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in older Hispanics.
This type of diabetes tends to run in families, but other factors
add to the risk. For example, being over-weight and inactive can
sometimes lead to diabetes in people who are at risk.
Diabetes can be prevented in people who are at increased risk
and even in those who have a condition called pre-diabetes. People
with pre-diabetes have blood glucose levels that are higher than
normal but not yet high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. They
are more likely to develop diabetes within 10 years and are more
likely to have a heart attack or stroke. People with pre-diabetes
can sharply lower their chances of developing diabetes through
modest weight loss with diet and exercise. Changes in diet and
exercise also are effective in curbing the development of diabetes
in older people.
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) is offering a free fact
sheet in Spanish with information on preventing, detecting, and
treating diabetes. To order a free copy of La diabetes en las personas
mayores: una enfermedad que usted puede controlar, call 1-800-222-2225
weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. A Spanish-speaking
information specialist is available to respond to calls. You also
can order this and other Spanish publications on healthy aging
on the NIA website at www.nia.nih.gov.
The NIA, part of the National Institutes of Health of the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, leads the Federal effort
supporting and conducting research on aging and the special needs
of older people. The Institute is committed to making health information
available to older Hispanic Americans and their families.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's
Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and
Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting
and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research,
and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both
common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and
its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.