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Diabetes and Women

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Diabetes is a serious health condition that affects women in all life stages. It is also unique to women because it can impact on the health of both a mother and her unborn children. With the increasing life span of women and the rapid growth of minority populations in the United States, the number of women at high risk for diabetes and its complications will continue to increase, placing added demands on the health care delivery system. This article examines the challenges and risks of diabetes in each stage of a woman's life.

Of the 15.7 million people with diabetes in the United States, more than half (8.1 million) are women. Minority racial and ethnic groups are the hardest hit by the disease. The prevalence of diabetes is at least 2-4 times higher among black, Hispanic, American Indian, and Asian Pacific Islander women than among white women.

About 90-95 percent of women with diabetes have type 2 (formerly called adult-onset) diabetes. Type 2 diabetes usually develops after age 40 and occurs when the body's cells become resistant to insulin. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas that allows glucose (sugar) to enter the body's cells and be converted to energy. Type 1 diabetes (formerly juvenile-onset) occurs because the pancreas makes little or no insulin.

Social, economic, and political barriers sometimes block high quality care and easy access to health care for women with diabetes. Social and economic issues will leave many older women with diabetes living alone and poor. Poverty is also a major concern for women of childbearing age who have diabetes.

Women with diabetes have a lower life expectancy than women without diabetes. The risk of heart disease, the most common complication of diabetes, is more serious among women than men. Among people with diabetes who have had a heart attack, women have lower survival rates and a poorer quality of life then men. Women are also at greater risk from blindness due to diabetes than men.

Tips for Choosing Athletic Shoes
Style... brand... price? What do you shop for in athletic shoes? Experts say at the 'sole' of many women's aches and pains is bad footwear.

Can Soy Fight Cancer?
When soy foods were first tied to a lower risk of cancer, consumer publications made the link seem certain. Now many people are unsure what soy can do against cancer.

Menopause: A Natural Step in a Woman's Life
Menopause is a natural step in a woman's life cycle, yet several body changes that accompany menopause pose problems for many women.

Fat Still Possible Risk for Breast Cancer
For years, population comparisons around the world have linked high-fat diets with greater breast cancer risk. Laboratory and animal studies support such a link. But studies of individuals have had mixed results.

Phone Counseling Puts Sedentary Women on the Move
Phone counseling that encourages women to overcome obstacles to exercise in their lives seems to work equally well for black, white, rich and poor individuals, according to research in the American Journal of Health Behavior.

Mix of Factors Related to Exercise Among Minority Women
Women from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds say that having more convenient and inexpensive places to exercise would encourage them to become more active, a nationwide collection of studies in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concludes.

Child Care May Be Hazardous To Grandma's Health
About one in seven American women have raised a grandchild for six months or more, but grandmothers who provide care for even a few hours a day may be at increased risk for heart attacks.

Mothers' Diets Serve As Example For Daughters
When it comes to eating high-fat foods, daughters do as their mothers do, at least to some extent, according to new research reported in the American Journal of Health Behavior.

Diabetes and African American Women
Among African American women, Type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic proportions; age 20 years or older, the rate is 11.8 percent. About 1 in 4 black women over the age of 55 years of age has diabetes, nearly twice the rate of white women.

Diabetes and American Indian and Alaska Native Women
For American Indians - Alaska Natives, both women and men, the incidence rate of type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic proportions. Overall, 12.2 percent of AI/AN women and men over the age of 19 have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Diabetes and Women's Health Across the Life Stages
Diabetes is a serious health condition that affects women in all life stages. It is also unique to women because it can impact on the health of both a mother and her unborn children. This article examines the challenges and risks of diabetes in each stage of a woman's life.

Diabetes and Hispanic American Women
Type 2 diabetes is a serious health concern for Hispanic American women. 25 percent of Hispanic American women have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Pregnancy, Diabetes, and Women's Health
Women with diabetes can have healthy babies, but it takes planning ahead and effort. Pregnancy can make both high and low blood glucose levels happen more often. It can make diabetic eye disease and diabetic kidney disease worse. High glucose levels during pregnancy are dangerous for the baby, too.

New Attitudes Towards Menopause
By the end of this century, more women than ever before will be experiencing the sometimes uncomfortable symptoms that accompany the end of menstruation and natural childbearing capacity.

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