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Diabetes Deaths Increasing in NYC
  Note from Jules Levin: Diabetes appears to be more common among HIV+ individuals. As anyone ages the diabetes and insulin resistance appears more common. So as we age with HIV it is likely that diabetes will be a health concern for a significant proportion of people with HIV. Fat accumulation and lipoatrophy are also associated with metabolic disorders and heart disease. Diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle can help contribute to better control of these issues, as well as being mindful of how you can address the concerns. You can speak to your clinician about evaluating whether you have insulin resistance and discussing ways to address this concern whether or not you have insulin resistance, you can continue to monitor your blood. Have a happy holidays.
"Diabetes Is Gaining as a Cause of Death, City Health Data Say"
New York Times
December 23, 2004
Diabetes killed an increasing number of New York City residents last year, ranking for the first time among the five leading causes of death in an annual summary of vital statistics released yesterday by the health department.
Diabetes was identified as the fourth-leading cause with 1,891 deaths in 2003, an 11 percent increase from the previous year, when the disease was ranked sixth, according to the summary. Of those deaths, 1,024 were women and 867 were men.
Health officials attributed the increase to rising levels of obesity among New Yorkers, and also to a higher risk of the disease in a population that is living longer. Diabetes was the third-leading cause of death among those between 55 and 74.
Health Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden warned that diabetes remained an underdiagnosed condition that had been linked to heart disease. He also said that it was more likely to affect Hispanics and blacks because of the greater incidence of obesity among those groups. "What it means is that we need to do a much better job of both preventing and treating," he said at a news briefing at City Hall.
The 67-page vital statistics survey (www.nyc.gov/html/doh/pdf/vs /2003sum.pdf) showed that the top three causes of death among city residents remained the same from the year before: Heart disease was again the leading killer, causing 23,875 deaths last year. Cancer was second with 13,826 deaths, and influenza and pneumonia was third with 2,692 deaths.
Alzheimer's disease was identified for the first time as a leading cause of death in people over age 75.
Still, there were small victories revealed by the data. H.I.V. and AIDS-related deaths slipped two places to seventh last year, accounting for 1,656 deaths, compared with 1,713 the year before. Health officials pointed out that it remained the leading killer of residents between 35 and 44.
Fewer teenagers gave birth last year, continuing a long-term national and citywide trend. But Dr. Frieden said that teenage pregnancy remained a problem, especially in the Bronx, in part because teenagers were not using condoms as often as they should. Teenage births have declined 36 percent in the city over the last decade, the survey found.
In general, the data suggested that New York remained a healthy and safe place to live, Dr. Frieden said. The total number of deaths dipped once again this year to a historic low of 59,213 deaths, compared with 59,651 in 2002.
In addition, the survey studied the aftereffects of the August 2003 blackout and debunked at least one urban myth. "People may have had fun in other ways, but there was no increase in births," Dr. Frieden said.
The study also found that six people - three men and three women - died from causes associated with the blackout. Those causes included accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, heart attack, excessive heat in the absence of air-conditioning and mechanical respirator failure.
Dr. Nathaniel Clark, a vice president with the American Diabetes Association, said the increase in diabetes-related deaths in New York City was not surprising, since the disease had become more common. He said people could reduce their risk of developing it by losing weight and exercising regularly.
"This type of wake-up call is not necessarily negative," he said. "The positive message is that we know diabetes can be controlled in those who have it, and prevented or delayed in those who are at risk for it by changes in lifestyle."
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