Some ethnic groups at higher risk for chronic diseases

Dec 06, 2010

Some ethnic groups are more likely to come down with chronic disease than others

Chronic health conditions can mean trouble for anyone. That is especially the case within certain populations that are more susceptible to them than others.

An analysis of the California Health Interview Survey reveals that American Indians and Alaska Natives, collectively referred to as AIAN, are more likely to be afflicted with diabetes, asthma, and obesity than other ethnic groups.

Just over 25 percent of AIAN between 55 and 64 have diabetes, for example, compared to 12 percent of whites.

Researcher Delight Satter says that the findings highlight the discrepancies amongst various ethnic and racial groups.

"Chronic health problems for natives are cresting ten years earlier than the general population," said Satter. "While researchers have heard anecdotally about this phenomenon for a long time, this is the first data in California that shows the drastic early aging that is afflicting the native community."

People with many common chronic conditions frequently have to pay more for their life insurance. In the case of diabetes, the disease can be controlled and in some cases prevented through monitoring one's diet and exercise regimen.

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