American Diabetes Association Expo Offers Free Hearing Screenings
Researchers suggest that diabetes leads to hearing loss by damaging nerves and blood vessels in the inner ear
Bruce Poinsette Of The Skanner News
January 19, 2012The American Diabetes Association holds an Expo at the Oregon Convention Center, which will offer hearing screenings, lifestyle demonstrations, a speaker series and other resources to attendees, Feb. 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
"It's all free," says Associate Manager Danielle Yoder.
Yoder says the goal of the event is to raise awareness of the relationship between diabetes and hearing loss.
According to a 2008 study funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), hearing loss is twice as common in adults with diabetes as it is for those that don't have it. The study also says that adults with pre-diabetes, which is characterized by high blood glucose that isn't high enough for a diabetes diagnosis, are 30 percent more likely to suffer from hearing loss than those with normal blood sugar.
Researchers suggest that diabetes leads to hearing loss by damaging nerves and blood vessels in the inner ear.
According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes affects nearly 26 million people in the United States. In addition, NIH says pre-diabetes affects 54 million. Up to 95 percent of diabetes cases in the US are Type 2; 313,703 Oregonians are living with diabetes and 592,000 have pre-diabetes.
The disease has a disproportionate effect on the Black community.
According to the American Diabetes Association, 3.7 million or 14.7 percent of all blacks aged 20 years or older have diabetes.
"African-Americans are 1.6 times more likely than non Hispanic whites to have Type 2 diabetes," says Yoder.
Overall, Blacks are 1.8 times as likely to have diabetes as non Hispanic whites. 25 percent of blacks between the ages of 65 and 74 have diabetes as well as one in four Black women over the age of 55.
According the American Diabetes Association, these disparities are reflected in the complications from the disease as well.
Blacks are 50 percent more likely than non Hispanic whites to develop diabetic retinopathy, which is associated with blindness. Similarly, blacks are 2.6 to 5.6 times more likely to suffer from kidney disease with 4,000 new cases of End Stage Renal Disease each year. Lastly, Blacks are 2.7 times more likely to suffer from lower limb amputations.
According to Yoder, The American Diabetes Association has been putting on these Expos since 2002.
She says the first one was held in Phoenix, Arizona and was well received and well attended. Since, the Expo has expanded to cities all across the US.
Yoder says attendance continues to grow in Portland. This year, she says the organization is expecting over 5,000 attendees.
She says there are 65 exhibitors and a variety of activities available.
Jesse Wornum of the biggest loser will be opening the doors at 8:45 a.m. and then sharing his personal story of how he's learned to manage his diabetes. Attendees can sign up for the "Walk with Jesse" Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes Team in the American Diabetes Association Experience.
There Expo will also feature healthy cooking and active living demonstrations.
The healthy cooking stage will feature presentations Ivy Manning, Chef Bill King ad Chef Tamara. According to Yoder, it will address issues like snacks and cooking on a budget.
The active living stage will feature presentations from CURVES, DeAnne Hardy and Stephanie Knoll. Topics will include "Circuit Training", "Zumba: Shake Your Booty", "Don't Be Square, Just Dance" and "Sit & Be Fit".
Some of the resources available to attendees will include the aforementioned free hearing screenings, a panel on finding help and a senior pavilion, according to Yoder. There will also be an "ask an expert" area where attendees can have one on one question and answer sessions.
Lastly, the Expo will be holding a speaker series in both English and Spanish.
The English speakers include Michael Fulop, Elizabeth Stephens of Providence Medical Center, Andrew Ahmann of the Harold Schnitzer Diabetes Health Center, Dan Root of Oregon Sleep Associates, Michelle Grove of the Portland Clinic and Steven Tillet.
Spanish speakers include Leda Garside, Ruth Dallas and Lucrecia Suarez.
Some of the topics the speakers will be covering include diabetes burnout, the relationship between sleep disorders and Type 2 diabetes and the necessity of having a diabetes team, or a set of doctors to handle particular complications from the disease.
"It teaches people how to maintain their diabetes so they don't lose a foot or a toe," says Yoder.
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