NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Diabetes-related deaths in New York City have hit a record high, though the death rate is below the national average, health officials said.
The city Health Department said Monday that the disease was the underlying or a contributing cause of 5,695 deaths in 2011. That’s about 160 more such deaths than in 2010 and 1,260 more than in 1990.
The city’s diabetes death rate now amounts to 67 fatalities per 100,000 people. The federal Health and Human Services Department said the national rate was just over 73 diabetes-related deaths per 100,000 people in 2007.
“We’re really experiencing an epidemic of diabetes and that’s being driven by our epidemic of obesity,” Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley told 1010 WINS. “Obesity rates continue to rise and diabetes is very strongly associated with obesity.”
Farley said people who are obese are twice as likely to develop diabetes and the Health Department is working to address the problem by increasing access to healthy food, discouraging people from eating and drinking unhealthy products and encouraging physical activity.
The city is also launching a radio ad campaign about the risks of diabetes.
The city’s overall death rate hit an all-time low in 2010, when almost 8,000 fewer people died than in 2000.
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