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Friday, November 18, 2011 Permalink

Dealing With Diabetes


Coping. Choosing. Teaching.
It's estimated that about 25 million American adults have diabetes, a disease that's preventable in most cases. Type 2 diabetes is hitting hardest in communities of color, where access to health care and health choices can be limited by income, education and geography. For many people in these communities diabetes isn't just a diagnosis, it shapes who they are and how they live their lives. Some are simply coping with the disease, trying to manage its impact. Others are evaluating the choices they've made in life with the goal of getting healthier today and in the future. And a few are teaching, trying to help family, friends and neighbors make better health decisions.

Among California's African American, Native American, Latino and Hmong populations, a diagnosis of diabetes can have life threatening consequences. This multimedia program examines how three ethnic communities in California are dealing with diabetes and how culturally-based approaches to health care are lengthening and saving lives.


  • Part 1: Coping

    Pauline Bartolone

    Carolyn Jackson was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes during a pregnancy. Soon she needed insulin and now attends kidney dialysis three times a week. Members of the African American community have one of the highest rates of the disease.

  • Part 2: Choosing

    Pauline Bartolone

    Registered dietician Cathy Carmichael leads talking circles to improve health outcomes for Native Americans with diabetes. But behavior change is not so easy. Eddie Mendez lost a limb and his kidneys failed before he made healthier choices.

  • Part 3: Teaching

    Pauline Bartolone

    Chia Chao Lo, a Laotian emigrant, was diagnosed with diabetes in 1985. He says food and physical activity is different in the U.S. His son Fi Dan Lo is a public health educator who teaches Hmong emigrants about disease prevention.

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