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Press Release

Press Release # 011-13
Wednesday, April 24, 2013

MEDIA CONTACT: (347) 396-4177
Jean Weinberg/Veronica Lewin:

Diabetes Epidemic Continues To Worsen In New York City

New Health Department report shows that diabetes among adult New Yorkers has more than doubled since 1993.

April 24, 2013 – Today the Health Department released a new Epi Data Brief about the diabetes epidemic in New York City. Nearly 650,000 adult New Yorkers reported having diabetes in 2011, an increase of about 200,000 adults since 2002. In addition, an estimated 230,000 adults likely had the disease but were unaware of it. Diabetes is twice as common among obese New Yorkers. People with diabetes are at increased risk of heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage, and amputations.

“As the obesity rate continues to rise in New York City, diabetes is becoming a health crisis,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “What’s most alarming is that more than 200,000 New Yorkers are walking around with this serious disease and don’t even know they’re at risk for blindness, amputation or even worse – premature death. We must work to end this crisis.”

Sugary drinks contribute to weight gain over time and, in turn, being overweight or obese can increase your risk of diabetes. Sugary drinks also have been shown to be independently associated with Type 2 diabetes, even after taking into account the effect on obesity. The Health Department has launched education campaigns and proposed citywide initiatives, such as the portion size cap, to help reduce sugary drink consumption – and help address both the obesity and diabetes epidemics – in New York City.
The full text of the report is here. For more information on diabetes, visit