Diabetes plagues blacks

The American Diabetes Association will host its annual America’s Walk for Diabetes in Jacksonville Saturday.

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the walk will start at 9:30 a.m. at Hendricks Avenue Elementary School.

According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 2.8 million or 13 percent of all blacks have diabetes and one-third of them do not know it.

Complications from the disease include heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney disease and amputations. And with no cure it has become the fifth deadliest disease in the United States.

According to the ADA, blacks are two times more likely to develop diabetes than non-Hispanic whites. Twenty-five percent of blacks between the ages of 65 and 74 have diabetes. One out of every four black women over the age of 55 has diabetes.

Charlie Rogers, 20, a student at Tallahassee Community College from Miami, said he feels the walk is for a great cause.

“We need to do whatever we can to raise the awareness for diabetes. If walking helps us to do so, then I’m all for it.”

Blacks are hit hardest by the complications from the disease.

African Americans who have diabetes are also more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, become blind, have a lower limb or limbs amputated and develop end stage renal failure (commonly know as kidney failure).

There are methods of preventing the complications from diabetes from


Closely monitor the amount of glucose that is ingested into the body. For people who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, this especially applies to them. For every 1 percent reduction in A1C, the risk of developing eye, kidney and nerve disease decreases by 40 percent.

Blood pressure control is another method of prevention. Watching the blood pressure can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by 33 to 50 percent, and the risk of eye, kidney and nerve disease by roughly 33 percent.

Monitor the cholesterol intake. Doing so will reduce the risk of heart disease 20 to 50 percent.

Jawanza Nyhuma, a 21 senior architecture student from Philadelphia weighed in with his opinion.

“Being ignorant to the severity of this disease is the worst thing that we as

African Americans can do because it hits us the hardest, diabetes is not going

to go away just because we do not want to deal with it.”

Those who would like to participate should go to their nearest Walgreens or Publix and pick up a brochure or call the northeast Florida’s branch of the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-741-6104.