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US Continues Its War On Diabetes

A new diabetes center had been opened by the Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan in March 1999. As many as 2,000 diabetes-related amputations which can be avoided // , are taking place in New York alone annually. This is causing serious concern among medical circles. The diabetes centers in the city conduct boot camps aimed at scaling down the incidence of diabetes. In spite of this the Type 2 diabetes cases have increased by 100%, and three of the centers of Beth Israel have already closed down, as they were found to be unprofitable.

The healthcare system of the country focuses more on the complications of diabetes rather than controlling the incidence of the disease. The patients are unable to get the US$ 150 required to see a podiatrist from the insurers, while amputations which involve over US$ 30,000 are paid for by them. The city is witnessing a rapid growth in dialysis centers. This is more like encouraging people to fall sick and paying them for it.

The Type 2 diabetes is not only hereditary, but it is also connected to inactivity and obesity, while the Type 1 variety is due to genetic factors. The diabetes benefits are also limited by insurers. Diabetes, if it is not checked can result in heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, and amputations. As the number of obese people in the US increase, the incidence of Type 2 diabetes is also rising. Most people in the country don’t take the disease seriously enough and consider it a distant threat. The patients need to change their attitude to life and food to overcome this. The social influences in the country encourages its prevalence, with ignorance with regard to obesity contributing towards it.

An investment of US$ 1.5 million had been made by Beth Israel towards its diabetes initiative, and it relied more on diabetes educators and nutritionists. The Center is finding it difficult to survive as it incurs a deficit of US$ 50 for each patient visit. Insurance compani es make it a point to avoid diabetics as far as possible. New York also suffers from the disadvantage of having very few endocrinologists, as it is a specialty which does not pay too well.

The New York City Government is beginning to monitor its diabetic residents’ sugar levels. One out of every eight people in the city suffer from diabetes, and the health service of the city may well be overwhelmed by the disease. Even school going children are not being spared by the condition. The country has a total 21 million diabetes patients. The poorer sections of the population are particularly vulnerable to this condition, and medical experts believe that the ‘thrifty gene’ may be responsible for this. In the case of the UK, about 3% to 5% of the population suffer from this condition. The expense incurred by the NHS towards diabetes and the complications associated with it is at £5.2 billion per year.


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