Monday, November 20, 2006

There is a 55% increased risk of diabetes for people of African origin

Deborah Gabriel:

Today whilst a report published by Diabetes UK and the All Parliamentary Group for Diabetes says that : “Poor care and unhealthy lifestyles,” are to blame for poor health, the shocking reality is its failure to acknowledge the reason why there is a 55 per cent increased risk of diabetes for people of African origin.

People of African origin also have a 200 per cent increased risk of hypertension (high blood pressure) which has nothing to do with “poor lifestyles” and nothing to do with living in so called “deprived areas” but everything to do with a condition unique to people of African descent called G6 PD deficiency.

Research professor Ian Stoakes who has done extensive work in this area and who has devised a blood test that can identify the cause of inflammation told Black Britain that G6 PD: “plays a very, very important part…in the absolute curse of the person of African origin.”

G6 PD deficiency developed as a result of the body’s mechanism for fighting malaria. People of African descent who originated from high malaria areas were more likely to die before reaching adulthood. Malaria attacks red blood cells and the body developed a way of resisting malaria by producing tougher red blood cells.

Tougher blood cells makes the body more resistant to malaria but at the same time produces a deficiency in G6 PD, which makes people of African origin more susceptible to inflammation as they have more inflammatory receptors and less anti-inflammatory receptors. Stoakes told Black Britain: “A large number of people of African origin became G6 PD deficient because it was a means of avoiding the worst excesses of malaria.

In addition to diabetes, people of African origin suffer disproportionately from a whole range of medical conditions linked to inflammation including obesity, heart disease, fibroids, endometriosis, infertility, hypertension and strokes. A study published in the London Borough of Lewisham in 1999 showed that a black woman in Lewisham is seven times more likely to die of a stroke than a Caucasian woman.

Stoakes told Black Britain that these are: “very big, big, issues,” but because the medical profession: “Is upper class white dominated...they would see it as lower class blacks dying of these diseases because they are fat and they make poor lifestyle choices,” a fact confirmed by the All Parliamentary Group for Diabetes study which talks about the “unhealthy lifestyles,” of people living in “deprived areas.”

In a scathing attack, Stoakes told Black Britain that views amongst the medical profession on diabetes: “Panders to some of the worst stereotyping. If you talk to the authorities you can hear under the surface that the main reason black people are more susceptible to illnesses is because they are overweight, they’re lazy and they don’t have any self-discipline.”

Women of African descent twice as likely to have premature babies but the answer is cure not kill

Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency

Alcoholic liver disease in black men with G6PD deficiency


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