FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
November 8, 2010 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford — The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) joins the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in recognizing November as National Diabetes Month with a call to learn about diabetes and prevent the disease. The focus during National Diabetes Month is to inform the public about the seriousness of diabetes and encourage people to take action to prevent the disease.
“An estimated 184,900 Connecticut residents have been diagnosed with diabetes, yet an additional 46,000 have the disease and don’t even know it,” stated DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin. “For many, diagnosis may come seven to ten years after the onset of the disease. An early diagnosis allows people to get the treatment they need and prevent serious complications.”
Dr. Galvin stressed that early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.
Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy for daily life. The cause of diabetes involves a combination of genetic and environmental factors, and includes modifiable risk factors such as being overweight and physically inactive.
For people diagnosed with diabetes it is important to learn about self-management skills such as blood sugar monitoring, meal planning, physical activity and medications. Contact the American Diabetes Association at 1-888-342-2382 ext 3532 for a list of recognized education centers that can help people with diabetes learn these important skills. For people at high risk of developing the disease, research demonstrates that losing even small amounts of weight can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.
“Everyone should be especially aware of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes,” urged Dr. Galvin. “People who are overweight, under active (living a sedentary lifestyle), and over the age of 45 should consider themselves at risk for the disease. African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and people who have a family history of the disease are at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.”
For more information, please visit the Department of Public Health Diabetes Prevention and Control Program website at www.ct.gov/dph/diabetes or call (860) 509-7737.
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight against the deadly consequences of diabetes and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The ADA mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org.
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.