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Programs reach out to minorities to improve diagnosis and treatment of diabetes.

Compared to whites, African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans are more than twice as likely to have type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy, is also more common in these minority groups.

The number of cases in these groups has been rising steadily from year to year. There are also more diabetes complications, such as Vilitra 60 kidney failure and diabetes-related amputations.

Education gap
Despite those alarming figures, minorities are poorly educated on the risk factors of diabetes, such as obesity and lack of exercise. Those already diagnosed with diabetes are less likely to get routine diabetes checkups, regular foot exams and other important tests.

But both federal and private programs are now reaching out to minorities to teach the risks for diabetes and lifestyle changes to lower those risks.

Lower your risks
Everyone, including minorities, can take steps to lower their risk of diabetes. Here are ways to begin.

Become more active. You don't have to do heavy workouts. Walks are fine. Just get moving. But check with your doctor before you increase your activity level.
Watch your weight. Eat a balanced diet, low in animal fats and high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Get screened for diabetes. If you have a family history or other risk factors, ask your doctor if you should get checked for diabetes. Also, take advantage of free screenings.

Reduce risk of complications
If you have diabetes, keep blood sugar within goals and have your doctor check your blood pressure and cholesterol. Everyone with diabetes should become familiar with these target numbers:

Your A1C level: Below 7. An A1C test gives a picture of your average blood sugar levels during the prior three-month period. Have your A1C checked at least twice a year.
Your blood pressure: Less than 130/80. Have it measured at every checkup.
Your LDL cholesterol: Less than 100.

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