Jazz great Ella Fitzgerald and actor James Cagney both died from complications due to diabetes. Many of us have also been personally touched by the disease. That is why I felt that it was important to bring to your attention some startling new statistics referred to in today’s issue of the New York Times.

The article refers to the disease as the “Stealth Epidemic”, and with good reason. According to the World Health Organization, 266 million people will have diabetes by 2030. This is almost double the already staggering figure of 171 million people who reported having diabetes in 2000.

It seems that certain areas of the US are more prone to developing the disease. In New York City, for example, nearly one in eight residents have diabetes. This accounts for a significant percentage of city-wide hospitals visits. According to physicians at the Montefior Medical Center in Brooklyn, nearly half of their patients are admitted for diabetes related conditions.

This discrepancy is due, in part, to the differing lifestyles in our cities. Cold and rainy climates make it difficult to get out and exercise. Unhealthy diets are more common in certain areas. If you live in a city that falls into this category, you may want to be even more aware of your risks.

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