Kern County most prone to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, hospital says

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Kern County is known as one of the most obese counties in California, and with that comes even more health concerns for people.

More than one in three patients at San Joaquin Valley Hospital has diabetes.

"It has to do with their lifestyle, lack of exercise and eating habits," said Elsita Mathew, Nurse Practitioner at the Heart Center.

There are even more people in Kern County hospitalized for issues related to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, or all three.

According to the CDC, out of the 58 counties in California, Kern County ranks second for having the most people with diabetes.

"When they're initially admitted to the hospital, they're usually admitted with some other symptoms or diagnosis, and along the course they will be diagnosed with diabetes as well, " said Mathew.

More than 60 percent of the people living in Kern County are obese. People living here notice the problem and are taking steps to reverse the epidemic.

To bring down the number of people in Kern County with uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis and obesity, a call to action plan has been launched in public places to raise awareness.

A free leg and foot screening is taking place at the Vascular and Leg Center located at 5020 Commerce Drive from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 17. You can call (661) 324-4200 to register your appointment.

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