Diabetes Rate Increased by 128% During 14-Year Period Among American Indian/Alaska Native Teenagers, Official Says
The prevalence of diabetes among American Indians and Alaska Natives ages 15 to 19 increased by 128% from 1990 to 2004 and by 77% for children under age 15, Charles Grim, director of HHS' Indian Health Service, told the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on Thursday, the AP/Santa Fe New Mexican reports. "In some communities, the prevalence rate is as high as 60% among adults," Grim said. A program established for American Indians and Alaska Natives that offers diabetes prevention and treatment programs is set to expire in 2008. Two North Dakota physicians -- James Brosseau, director of the Altru Diabetes Center, and Biron Baker of Medcenter One Health Systems -- at the hearing urged lawmakers to renew the program. Brosseau noted that in the past, lack of funding for American Indian and Alaska Native alcohol treatment programs resulted in increased mortality rates. "We don't want history to repeat itself," he said. Committee Chair Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) said, "Diabetes is a serious problem that affects our American Indian communities more than any other group, and I'll work to make sure we find a way to address it" (Jalonick, AP/Santa Fe New Mexican, 2/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.