FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
October 26, 2009 Contact: William Gerrish
People Can Have Lasting Benefits from Early Diabetes Control
Hartford - The Connecticut Department of Public Health has good news about diabetes. People who keep their blood glucose as close to normal as possible in the early years after they are diagnosed with diabetes have fewer problems with their eyes, nerves, and kidneys, and fewer heart attacks later in life. The Connecticut Department of Public Health has partnered with the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) to get this message out for National Diabetes Awareness Month in November.
“This is important news for people affected by diabetes,” stated DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin. “Diabetes is a serious disease. Managing the disease is not easy but the benefits are worth the effort. People need to work to keep their blood glucose as close to normal as is safe for them, what is called their target range, to reduce their chance of serious health problems.”
Most people, especially those who have just been diagnosed, should aim for an A1C less than 7%. The A1C is an important test as it represents a three-month average of blood sugars. Everyone’s target range is different, so people with diabetes should talk with their health care team about what blood glucose targets are safe. Those who have had diabetes for a long time, other health problems, or problems with low blood sugar may have an A1C target higher than 7%. Also, keeping blood pressure and cholesterol under control can lower risk for heart attacks and other diabetes complications.
Making a plan based on realistic goals can be the first step to managing diabetes. For example, developing a plan focused on better food choices might be to drink water rather than soda or fruit juice, choose fruits or vegetables as a snack, and make an appointment to see a certified diabetes educator. There are twenty-six diabetes education centers that are recognized by the American Diabetes Association across the state to meet with diabetes educators.
For a listing of centers and for diabetes information go to www.diabetes.org or call 1-877-639-0385. Another source of information on diabetes management is www.YourDiabetesInfo.org or 1-888-693-NDEP (6337); TTY: 1-866-569-1162.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.