Diabetes in Illinois projected to increase 25 pct in next 6 years

November is American Diabetes Month

Learn how to control your risk

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[November 07, 2013]  SPRINGFIELD -- The percentage of Illinois adults diagnosed with diabetes rose 60 percent between 1995 and 2010, and it is projected that the number of diagnosed diabetes cases will rise another 25 percent by 2020. This November, American Diabetes Month, Illinois Department of Public Health Director LaMar Hasbrouck is encouraging everyone to learn the risk factors for diabetes and how to reduce or eliminate them.

"With more than 827,000 adults in Illinois diagnosed with diabetes and more than 2,700 residents dying from the disease each year, you need to know how to control your risk of being diagnosed with diabetes," said Dr. Hasbrouck. "First, learn your numbers -- weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels -- and then talk with your health care professional about what you can do to make sure those numbers are at a healthy level."

Diabetes is serious chronic disease caused when blood sugar (glucose) levels are above normal and a hormone called insulin is not able to help glucose get into the cells, causing sugar to build up in the blood. When this happens, it can cause kidney failure, blindness, heart attacks, strokes and amputations.

Major risk factors for developing diabetes include:

  • Obesity, overweight.

  • Physically inactive.

  • Unhealthy diet.

  • Tobacco use.

  • Age.

  • Ethnicity.

  • Chronic conditions.

  • Family history.

The Illinois adult mortality rate for diabetes in 2010 (the most recent available data) was 19.5 per 100,000, compared with the U.S. rate of 22.4 per 100,000. By gender, race and ethnicity, in 2010, more men than women in Illinois died due to diabetes; more blacks than whites; and more non-Hispanics than Hispanics.

Signs of diabetes may include:

  • Increased thirst.

  • Increased urination.

  • Increased hunger.

  • Weight loss, despite eating more than usual.

  • Fatigue.

  • Blurred vision.

  • Slow healing sores or frequent infections.

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According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2012, medical expenses attributable to diabetes in Illinois totaled $8.98 billion and indirect expenses, such as lost productivity and premature mortality, totaled more than $2.39 billion.

Diabetes prevention lifestyle changes include:

  • Watching your weight -- Set realistic, yet clinically meaningful weight-loss goals.

  • Eating healthy -- Talk with a registered dietitian who specializes in diabetes.

  • Being active -- 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity five days a week.

  • Controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol -- Talk with a primary care physician.

For more information about diabetes and to take a test to determine your risk for the disease, go to http://www.idph.state.il.us/diabetes/index.htm.

[Text from Illinois Department of Public Health file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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