(Salt Lake City, UT) – The American Diabetes Association (ADA), Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Utah Pacific Islander Health Coalition, and the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) Diabetes Prevention and Control Program are teaming up to let Utahns know that they can prevent and manage diabetes, a disease diagnosed in nearly 130,000 Utah adults (7.2%). 45,000 more Utah adults have undiagnosed diabetes.
Diabetes is especially prevalent among Utah’s Pacific Islander population, with 15.5 percent of adults affected, and 44 percent among those who speak Tongan. More Pacific Islanders live in Utah per capita than any other state outside of Hawaii.
"We are at a diabetes crisis breaking point, with more and more children and adults of all ethnicities being diagnosed each year," said Laura Western, executive director of the JDRF Utah chapter. “If current trends continue, 1 in 3 U.S. adults will have diabetes by 2050 and will cost America $174 billion, or $1 billion in Utah.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 25.8 million people in the United States (8.3% of the population) have diabetes. Of these, 7.0 million have undiagnosed diabetes, and another 79 million have pre-diabetes.
Risks for diabetes include:
• People over age 45
• People with a family history of diabetes
• People who are overweight or do not exercise regularly
• Certain racial and ethnic groups (Non-Hispanic Blacks, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Asian
• Americans, Pacific Islanders, and American Indians and Alaska Natives
• Women who had gestational diabetes or a baby weighing 9 lbs. or more at birth
• People with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and/or impaired fasting glucose (IFG)
Symptoms of diabetes include:
• Frequent urination
• Unusual thirst
• Extreme hunger
• Unusual weight loss
• Extreme fatigue and irritability
• Blurred vision
• Dry mouth
• Slow-healing sores or cuts
Complications of diabetes include
• Vision loss
• Heart disease and stroke
• Kidney disease
• Nerve damage
4 Tips to help Utahns Prevent, Treat and Cure Diabetes
• Take the stairs instead of the elevator
• Incorporate one more vegetable into your meal every day
• Visit your doctor regularly and get checked for diabetes if you are at risk
• Join your local chapter and get involved with the JDRF, ADA or UDOH
“Every 17 seconds, someone in this country is diagnosed with diabetes,” said Tami Featherstone, executive director, ADA for the Utah/Nevada markets. “The disease impacts everyone in different ways. Whether you have diabetes or are a caregiver or a friend of a person fighting diabetes, the ADA is here to help.”
“The prevalence of diabetes in Utah is rapidly growing but we can make a course correction by helping people prevent diabetes and its devastating complications,” said Vivian Giles, MPH, health systems specialist, Utah Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, Utah Department of Health. “By working together, we can reduce the impact of diabetes in our communities over the coming years.”
To participate in National Diabetes Month, Utahns can visit the following websites to take action: www.jdrf.org, , www.stopdiabetes.com or www.health.utah.gov/diabetes.
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