D is for Diabetes

Solano County’s Dubious Distinction

In Solano County, the number of people with diabetes is shrinking, and that’s a good thing. Ranked No. 1 in the state for the highest number of people diagnosed with diabetes in 2011, the county has dropped to No. 13. Still, close to 10 percent of its population has diabetes, and that matches the national average, according to Deborah Murray, M.D., director of NorthBay Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology.

“We have the same risk factors here that the nation faces. People who are overweight, sedentary, eat poor quality foods, and have an ethnic disposition—such as Hispanic, African American, South Asian, Asian American or Pacific Islander—are at greater risk. But, we also have access to better health care in Solano County, so people at risk are being diagnosed earlier,” she said.

The goal of the NorthBay Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology is to bring those numbers down even more, and the best way is to educate our residents about those diabetes risk factors, Dr. Murray stressed.

Risk factors include:

  • Age 45 or older
  • Overweight
  • A parent, brother or sisterwith diabetes
  • Family background is African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American or Pacific Islander, South Asian
  • History of gestational diabetes
  • Blood pressure of 140/90 or higher, or history of high blood pressure
  • Cholesterol levels are not normal; HDL is less than 35, or triglyceride level is higher than 250
  • Fairly inactive, or physically active less than three times a week
  • Have a history of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

An even greater number of people have pre-diabetes, a condition where their blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be called diabetes. An estimated 86 million Americans over age 20 have pre-diabetes. People with pre-diabetes are more likely to develop diabetes within 10 years and they are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke. If you have concerns, discuss them with your primary care physician.

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