The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released data yesterday showing a dramatic increase in the rate of diabetes-related deaths in the five boroughs. According to the data, 5,695 suffered deaths which were at least in-part the result of diabetes in 2011.
Despite a declining overall death rate in the city, the upswing in deaths caused by diabetes represents a near-doubling of proportions compared with two decades ago; in 1990 diabetes-related deaths represented only 6% of the total mortality rate, in 2011 that number climbed to 10.8%.
In the last ten years, the diabetes mortality rate shot up by over 25% in half of New York City’s community districts. A 2011 study showed that nearly 650,000 adults reported having diabetes, representing a 200,000 person and over 30% increase in New York. Brooklyn has been hit particularly hard, containing four of the ten districts with the highest percentages of deaths resulting from the disease.
Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said of the situation “Diabetes is a condition that too many people live with and die from. It is linked to our epidemic of obesity, and like obesity, it can be prevented.”
Mayor Bloomberg recently attempted to help fight obesity and diabetes by limiting access to high-volume sugary drinks, but his plan was met with heavy ridicule and criticism before being struck down by a judge in the State Supreme Court just as it would have taken effect. With the release of the report, the Health Department urges residents to remember that “diabetes risk can be lowered by maintaining a healthy weight through being active, eating healthy and cutting out sugary drinks.”