FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 9, 2004) -- Kentuckians can make the link this November during American Diabetes Month - the link between diabetes and heart disease, between diabetes and stroke, between diabetes and death.
The Kentucky Diabetes Prevention and Control Program has joined with the American Diabetes Association, the American College of Cardiology, and the National Diabetes Education Program to urge Kentuckians with diabetes to manage their blood pressure and cholesterol, along with blood glucose (sugar) to help prevent heart attack and stroke - the leading killers of people with diabetes.
In Kentucky, an estimated 8.5 percent of the adult population (approximately 267,000 people) has been diagnosed with diabetes. However, an additional 109,100 adults may have diabetes but have not yet been diagnosed. Based on these estimates, approximately 376,100 or about 12 percent of adult Kentuckians have diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes.
In July, the Kentucky Department for Public Health issued a report about a major risk factor related to diabetes – obesity. Kentucky currently ranks fourth nationally in the rate of obesity and physically inactivity. However, studies have shown that individuals can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by modest weight loss through diet modification and moderate exercise such as walking 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week.
The report said 13 percent of high school students have been told they were at risk of getting diabetes.
Governor Ernie Fletcher has appointed the Get Healthy Kentucky! Board to address issues such as diabetes and obesity.
During Diabetes Month there will be efforts to raise awareness about the seriousness of diabetes and the need to prevent serious complications associated with diabetes, such as heart disease and stroke. The groups are joining forces to inform people with diabetes that good diabetes management is more than lowering blood glucose. Managing blood pressure and cholesterol is also crucial. There are studies that show a strong link between diabetes and heart disease and the vast majority of people with diabetes don't know about their very high risk of cardiovascular disease. The good news is that they can reduce their risks by managing their blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol.
Recommended targets are:
* Blood glucose: less than 7 percent on the A1C test. Check at least twice a year.
* Blood pressure: below 130/80. Check at every doctor's visit.
* Cholesterol (LDL): below 100. Check at least once a year.
The same steps needed to manage blood glucose work for managing blood pressure and cholesterol: follow a healthy diet and get daily physical activity to avoid being overweight and take prescribed medicines. People with diabetes should also avoid smoking and ask their health care providers about aspirin therapy.
Other risk factors for the development of diabetes include high blood pressure, high blood fats, pre-diabetes, having had a baby weighing more than 9 pounds at birth, polycystic ovary syndrome, history of blood vessel disease, 45 years old or older, family history of diabetes, or being in a high risk population.
You can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by lowering your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Learn how. Call 1-800-DIABETES for your free "Diabetes Survival Guide". You may also contact the National Diabetes Education Program at 1-800-438-5383 or visit the NDEP website at www.ndep.nih.gov for diabetes informational materials in English, Spanish, and Asian and Pacific Islander languages.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Many local events will be held throughout November to raise awareness of issues related to diabetes; a list of several will be sent out to media outlets; you may want to contact your local health department for more information.