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Mon October 31, 2011

DUPAGE COUNTY-County residents are urged to eat healthy, stay physically active and quit smoking to help lower their risk of diabetes during November, which is American Diabetes Month.

The DuPage County Health Department explains that diabetes complications can be prevented or delayed by properly managing blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol. Diabetes is a serious disease that can damage many parts of the body, leading to heart attacks, strokes, amputation, blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage.

With nearly 26 million children and adults living with diabetes, and another 79 million at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, the disease is taking a devastating physical, emotional and financial toll on America. Yet, most Americans don't know the extent of diabetes.

The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports:

  • Every 17 seconds, someone is diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Diabetes kills more people each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.
  • Recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take steps to stop diabetes.
  • the national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $174 billion.

While there is still no cure for diabetes, there is good news: the progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes is not inevitable. An aggressive state and national agenda focusing on both clinical preventive services (early detection, improved delivery of care and proper self-management measures) coupled with community preventive services (education initiatives, public health programs and policies) are needed to tackle this growing epidemic.

Being overweight is one of the leading risk factors for type 2 diabetes. This is cause for concern since the rate of obesity among adults in the United States has doubled since 1980. According to the latest estimates, 64 percent of Americans are considered overweight or obese. The rate of obesity among our children has tripled since 1980. The American Diabetes Association, which sponsors American Diabetes Month, encourages legislators to increase physical fitness opportunities and urges schools to offer healthier meals.

For more information on the DuPage County Health Department, follow us on Twitter @DuPageHD or become a fan on Facebook.

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