Bilingual health fair Saturday
The Arizona Republic
Mar. 19, 2004 12:00 AM
Health specialists call the prevalence of diabetes among Arizona's Latinos an
imminent epidemic that could be partly solved by substituting low-carbohydrate
foods for such high-lard cultural fare as tortillas.
Depression caused by life-altering medical conditions such as diabetes could be
alleviated with moderate exercise.
Experts will offer health-related tips like these at Mercy Care Plan's
first-ever bilingual health fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Mountain Park
Health Center West, 4616 N. 51st. Ave.
"Some researchers say (Latinos are) more genetically inclined to have diabetes,"
said Veronica de la O, community relations manager at Mercy Care. "Some say our
meals are higher in carbs and sometimes our community is not as physically
The Department of Health Services listed diabetes as the eighth-leading cause of
deaths among Arizonans in 2001. Arizona's Santa Cruz County led the state with
the highest diabetes mortality rate, with 52.6 deaths per 100,000 population;
Apache County ranked second, with 42.4 per 100,000; and Graham was third, with
39.9 per 100,000.
When ethnicity was evaluated, diabetes was the fifth-leading cause of death
among Hispanics, fourth among Native Americans and fourth among
Mercy Care hopes to lower those numbers with free educational events like
Saturday's Mercy Care Plan Schaller Anderson's Community Health Fair, de la O
Today's free fair will offer diabetes health screenings, nutritional advice and
information on recognizing the signs of depression. The event is expected to
draw about 300 participants from the heavily Hispanic neighborhoods nearby,
organizers said. Experts will also screen attendees to determine whether they're
eligible for state medical benefits.