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Press Release

Press Release # 019-13
Monday, June 10, 2013

MEDIA CONTACT: (347) 396-4177
Jean Weinberg/Diane Hepps:

Health Department Report Shows Diabetes Death Rates At An All-Time High for New York City

One person dies of diabetes-related causes every 90 minutes in New York City

June 10, 2013 – The Health Department released a new report which states that the number of diabetes-related deaths in New York City for 2011 was 5,695, an all-time high. These deaths include those for which diabetes is classified as the underlying cause of death as well as those for which diabetes is classified as a contributing cause. Even as the overall death rate in New York City continues to decline, diabetes-related deaths continue to increase. Since 1990, the proportion of all New York City deaths related to diabetes nearly doubled, from 6.0% in 1990 to 10.8% in 2011. Overall, one person dies of diabetes-related causes every 90 minutes, adding up to 16 deaths a day in New York City.

“Diabetes is a condition that too many people live with and die from,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, Health Commissioner. “It is linked to our epidemic of obesity, and like obesity, it can be prevented.”

The rise in the number of people with obesity has spawned a second epidemic of type 2 diabetes in New York City. In an April 2013 Data Brief, the Health Department reported that nearly 650,000 adult New Yorkers reported having diabetes in 2011, an increase of 200,000 adults since 2002. Sugary drinks are associated with obesity and with increased risk of developing diabetes. To address the obesity and diabetes epidemics, the Health Department has launched initiatives such as Green Carts and Shop Healthy to increase access to healthy foods, and proposed an amendment to the Board of Health to reduce the portion sizes of sugary drinks at food service establishments.

In conjunction with the release of the report today, the Health Department is launching a radio ad campaign educating New Yorkers about the risks of diabetes. The ad informs people that diabetes risk can be lowered by maintaining a healthy weight through being active, eating healthy and cutting out sugary drinks, and encourages New Yorkers to call 311 to get more information. The 30-second radio spot will run through the end of June.

The full text of the report (PDF)

For more information on diabetes, visit