Oakland To Offer Free Diabetes Screenings As Part of National Program
U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona on Thursday in Oakland announced that the city is one of 10 areas nationwide -- and the only city in California -- that will offer free diabetes screenings as part of a federal health program, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Under the Diabetes Detection Initiative, La Clinica de la Raza; West Oakland Health Center and East Oakland Health Center, part of the West Oakland Health Council; Highland Hospital; and Lifelong Medical Care will distribute free diabetes testing materials that help determine a person's risk for developing the disease. People deemed at high risk will receive blood tests and referrals. In Alameda County, there are 66,000 adults and 680 children diagnosed with diabetes and an estimated 33,000 additional undiagnosed cases. The Chronicle reports that most of the people with undiagnosed diabetes have type 2 diabetes, which can be triggered by unhealthy diet, continued lack of physical activity and obesity. "Oakland sometimes doesn't get enough attention, but we have a pretty significant burden of chronic disease here," Dr. Tony Iton, an Alameda County health officer, said, adding, "Diabetes is a disease that has innumerable manifestations, virtually all of which are severe if it's not managed appropriately and early." Jennifer Koentop, a spokesperson for HHS in San Francisco, said, "It's great that we're doing this in Oakland because we have a minority population of African Americans and a Hispanic population, and we know that diabetes is found in these two groups in disproportionate numbers." The other areas participating in the Diabetes Detection Initiative are Wichita-Sedgwick County, Kan.; Springfield-Holyoke, Mass.; Flint, Mich.; East Harlem, N.Y.; Choctaw Nation, Okla.; Orangeburg County, S.C.; Seattle; Fayette and Greenbrier counties, W.Va.; and Wind River Indian Reservation, Wyo. (Lee, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/26).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.