Native News Network Staff in Native Health. Discussion »
BETHESDA, MARYLAND - As the Native Diabetes Wellness Program commemorates November as being National Native American Heritage Month, the Program sends this reminder: American Indian and Alaska Native adults are twice as likely to have diagnosed diabetes than non-Hispanic whites.
Rate of Diabetes has Doubled
Among American Indian and Alaska Natives aged 35 years, age adjusted rates of diagnosed diabetes doubled from 8.5 per 1,000 population in 1994 to 17.1 in 2004. In 1997, when Congress funded the Indian Health Service's Special Diabetes Program for Indians and Centers for Disease Control's prevention efforts in tribal communities, tribal representatives advised that "our cultures are the source of health."
Research studies have demonstrated that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with lifestyle interventions that promote weight loss and physical activity in adults at high risk.
Guided by the Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee and through a partnership with the Indian Health Service, Centers for Disease Control's Native Diabetes Wellness Program developed a series of four Eagle Books for elementary school children about traditional ways of being healthy and preventing type 2 diabetes.
The first Eagle Book to bring these prevention messages to middle school children, "Coyote and the Turtle's Dream," will be released this month.
posted November 28, 2011 8:20 am est
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