Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death in Los Angeles County and it's on the rise, concludes a report issued Tuesday by Los Angeles County's Department of Public Health.
Called “Trends in Diabetes: Time for Action,” the report indicates that more than 685,000 people in Los Angeles County, or 9.9% of the population, suffer from diabetes up 3.3% since 1997.
The study found that Latinos and African Americans experience the highest rates of the disease, and that the largest increase in diabetes was among Asians/Pacific Islanders.
The county study showed increases in the disease among all income and ethnic groups, with slightly more cases among men than women.
Type 2 diabetes accounted for more than 90% of the cases countywide. And because obesity is one of the main causes of Type 2 diabetes, county health officials are urging people to fight both conditions by choosing smaller portions of food, limiting the number of sugary drinks and exercising more often.
People with diabetes face nearly double the risk of death compared to those of similar age who don’t have it, the report says. The disease is estimated to cost more $6 billion a year in medical expenses in LA County.