Diabetes rate for American Indians is double

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Not even falling asleep while driving and being thrown from her car going 70 mph got Toni Williams to take her diabetes seriously.

It was her high blood sugar levels that made her drowsy. But it took two more years and landing a job helping fellow American Indian diabetics that made her start regularly testing her blood sugar levels, examining her feet and exercising.

“I needed to start telling myself I have to manage this. I have a family to take care of,” she said Thursday. “I want to live a long time.”

Unfortunately, too few of her peers recognize the gravity of diabetes, or have the resources to effectively manage the disease. A new report from the Utah Department of Health shows American Indians have diabetes at nearly twice the rate of the rest of Utahns and they also die of complications at nearly double the rate.



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