CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Department of Health says that about 39,000 adults in the state were living with diabetes according to a “2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System” estimate.
“An additional 35,000 residents have been told they have prediabetes, a condition in which higher than normal blood glucose levels may lead to type 2 diabetes,” the WDH adds.
Nationwide, 29 million Americans have diabetes which amounts to nearly 10% of the population.
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Others may have diabetes or prediabetes but are unaware. The health department issued an announcement on Thursday, Nov. 7 asking people to learn more about prediabates during National Diabetes Awareness Month.
“’When diabetes is unrecognized or not properly controlled, the health impacts are significant,’ said Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with WDH. ‘Our goals are simple: improve health outcomes and connect people to the educational and medical resources they need to live healthier, happier lives.’”
The health department has a new Chronic Disease Prevention Program campaign they are calling “Cowboy Up to Prevent.”
“Free prediabetes awareness materials are available for healthcare professionals and funding is available for organizations interested in evidence-based diabetes and hypertension prevention and self‐management programs,” the release states. “Designed for adults, the programs help people gain the confidence and motivation they need to take care of their health, as well as learn new skills to prevent diabetes or better manage their chronic health conditions.”
“Programs are offered around the state by trained experts in either community and/or medical settings.”
The campaign aims to lower the number of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke cases in Wyoming.
“Residents are encouraged to take a short online risk test at Doihaveprediabetes.org,” the WDH says. “A blood glucose test is recommended for anyone scoring high on the risk assessment.”
“The campaign also asks healthcare providers to screen, test and refer individuals with abnormal blood sugar levels to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-recognized diabetes prevention program. A list of CDC-recognized programs in Wyoming can be found at https://nccd.cdc.gov/DDT_DPRP/Registry.aspx.”
Diabetes prevention includes lifestyle changes that the health department says can reverse prediabetes. Lifestyle changes can also “delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.”
“People with prediabetes who take part can cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent (71 percent for people over 60 years old),” the health department says. “Participants may lose 5 to 7 percent of their body weight through healthier eating and 150 minutes of physical activity a week.”
“Those who complete a type 2 diabetes prevention lifestyle change program were 1/3 less likely to develop type 2 diabetes after 10 years.”
More information about the program is available online.
“’Keeping diabetes under control can improve the quality of life, and that’s exactly what we want,’ Harrist said.”