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diabetes complications

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Our final full day in Haiti is today. We went to the mountains with two board members of FHADIMAC, and from a high perch, the city of Port-au-Prince below looked like paradise.  But as we descended the mountain, winding out of our way and close to the edge to avoid debris, reality came back to us.

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"It's the alcohol hangover," Gerardo Cuapio thought five years ago when he woke up thirsty and with blurred vision. National Health Journalism Fellow Pedro Frisneda tells the story of a man who was on the verge of death without knowing he had Type 2 diabetes. It's a cautionary tale for what happens to many Latin American immigrants who move to the United States, adopting a new lifestyle and diet that can contribute to developing the disease. "The Big Apple is confronting one of the worst diabetes epidemics in the nation and health authorities have declared it an emergency," with Hispanics suffering disproportionately.

This story was originally published in Spanish. Below is the English translation.

Part 2: In the kingdom of fats and sugar

Part 3: In a sedentary country

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Part 2: Researchers trying to find why people with disease fail to act against it. 

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Dr. Kelly Acton is director of the Indian Health Service Diabetes Program. She has worked in the Indian Health Service for more than 20 years. In 1981, Dr. Acton earned her M.D. degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and in 1996, her M.P.H. from the University of Washington. She is board-certified in internal medicine and a fellow of the American College of Physicians. She has worked on the Crow and Flathead Indian reservations in Montana and the Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina.

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