Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death and disability in Kansas and continues to increase at an alarming rate – by almost 60 percent over the past 15 years. This increase has paralleled the growing number of adult Kansans who are overweight or obese.
Friday, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and Kansas Diabetes Advisory Council unveiled a statewide strategy for reducing diabetes in Kansas.
The Kansas Diabetes Plan provides guidance for collaborative statewide efforts to reduce the burden of diabetes and improve the health of Kansans over the next five years.
“We now know what actions can be taken to delay and even prevent the onset of diabetes and minimize its damaging health effects,” said Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of KDHE. “Adopting a healthy lifestyle, choosing healthier eating habits and increasing physical activity can reduce the chances of you and your children developing diabetes.”
Diabetes is one of the most common, complex and costly chronic health conditions in Kansas and the Unites States. In Kansas, 7.1 percent of adults – more than 150,000 – have been diagnosed with diabetes and nearly 65,000 more have diabetes but are undiagnosed.
If trends in obesity and type 2 diabetes continue, children born in 2000 will face a 1 in 3 chance of developing diabetes at some point during their lifetime. In Latino children, this risk is predicted to be even higher – a 1 in 2 chance.
People with diabetes are at increased risk of serious and potentially fatal health complications, including cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure, nervous system damage and lower limb amputations.
Research indicates that healthy eating habits, being physically active and other lifestyle modifications can prevent or delay the development of diabetes. For this reason, KDHE and its partners, through the Kansas Diabetes Plan, will be enhancing health education efforts designed to inform Kansans of the steps they can take to minimize their risk.
“This plan is a call to action, urging individuals, communities and organizations to take an active role in implementing the Kansas Diabetes Plan to improve quality and years of life for Kansans living with diabetes,” stated Bremby.
The Kansas Diabetes Plan is available on the KDHE website at www.kdheks.gov/diabetes.