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Experts will gather at the Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University, Nov. 14-17, for the Global Diabetes Summit to discuss the latest diabetes research and develop a road map for the prevention, detection, treatment and management of the disease, which has been diagnosed in an estimated to 3 million black Americans and could be impacting millions more who are unaware they are diabetic.
African Americans are nearly twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to develop diabetes and 25 percent of black Americans ages 65-74 are diabetic.
Dr. Trudy Gaillard, an adjunct assistant professor in Nursing Undergraduate Studies and a research assistant professor in Endo, Diabetes and Metabolism at Ohio State and a leading researcher on the impact of diabetes on black people will be among the presenters at the conference which is being held during National Diabetes Month.
Gaillard has been a regular at the annual Tom Joyner Take a Loved One to the Doctor events, taking calls on the Dr. Day hotline and participating in other activities.
According to the American Diabetes Association, 3.2 million, or 13.3 percent of all African Americans aged 20 or older have diabetes and one in four black women over the age of 55 has diabetes.
Not only are black Americans more likely to get the disease, but related complications strike disproportionately as well. It is the No. 1 cause of blindness, kidney disease and amputations for black Americans and heart disease and stroke account for about 65 percent of deaths in people with diabetes and diabetics are also at a higher risk for stroke and death from stroke.
Children are particularly at risk of contracting diabetes because of the childhood obesity epidemic.
In a paper published in the research journal Healio Endocrinology/Endocrine Today, Gaillard noted the importance of diet and exercise in managing diabetes.
“Excessive weight (obesity) and lack of physical activity are two of the major factors associated with increasing metabolic syndrome risks. These two factors are increasing in both U.S. adults and children,” Gaillard wrote.
“Understanding how weight gain and lack of physical activity are associated with increased metabolic syndrome and CVD mobility and mortality are major public problems. Most studies have shown that increases in physical activity are associated with lower rates of metabolic syndrome and other CVD comorbid conditions. … This issue is particularly important in black women who report less leisure time physical activity compared to white women.”
In other words, there is a direct correlation between exercise and lowering or preventing incidences of diabetes and related conditions that could lead to death for those with diabetes.
Kirk Geter, D.P.M., assistant professor at the College of Medicine and chief of the Division of Podiatry at Howard University Hospital told BlackAmericaWeb.com in an earlier interview that a test for diabetes should be part of a routine physical for people how have a history of the disease in their families.
On Saturday, Nov. 17, Dominque Wilkins, an NBA legend and vice president of basketball for the Atlanta Hawks, and Oscar Joyner, president and chief operating officer of Reach Media Inc., the parent company of the Tom Joyner Morning Show and BlackAmericaWeb.com, will address the summit on their personal battles with diabetes and their successful management strategies.
This event is free, but registration is required. Register at go.osu.edu.