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Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in West Virginia.
It is estimated that 12 percent of all West Virginians have diabetes, ranking as the second state with the highest prevalence of diabetes in the country.
Forty-four percent of the West Virginians with diabetes are 65 years or older. Women in this age group are more likely to have diabetes than men. Along with this, West Virginia ranked first nationally in the percentage of population that was obese.
Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults.
Obesity and diabetes are risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of premature mortality among persons with diabetes.
Diabetes creates other complications such as kidney, nervous-systems and dental disease as well as pregnancy disorders.
These statistics and related facts are available at West Virginia Diabetes Prevention and Control Program.
Diabetes is a serious disease whereby the body does not manufacture enough insulin or use insulin properly. The pancreas produces the hormone insulin. Our bodies use insulin to convert sugar, starch and other foods into energy. When you have diabetes, your body either produces too much insulin or is unable to use its own insulin to breakdown sugar and starches. This causes sugar to build up in your body which leads to life threatening consequences.
Type 1 diabetes occurs in children and young adults and normally results in life-long insulin dependency.
Type 2 diabetes occurs in adults who usually have a family history of diabetes, who are overweight or physically inactive. Type 2 diabetics can usually control their diabetes with medication and by participating in a nutritional program.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that only occurs in pregnant women. If it goes untreated it can cause significant problems for the mother and unborn child.
It is estimated that twenty (20%) percent of all children between the age of 16 and 19 are overweight or obese - which is three times as many as there were 20 years ago.
Without obesity, there would be no type 2 diabetes in children.
Read more about Childhood Obesity.
The total cost of diabetes for people in West Virginia in 2006 is estimated at $998,600,000. This estimate includes excess medical costs of $695,000,000 attributed to diabetes, and lost productivity valued at $303,600,000. This information is published on the American Diabetes Association Web site.
Many people do not realize they have diabetes. Diabetes can cause serious health problems that affect your heart, your circulatory system, your vision, and can create the necessity for lower extremity amputations.
Symptoms can include:
Statistics collected from the American Diabetes Association, the Centers for Disease Control, and Prevent Blindness America show that:
Starting as a child and continuing through life the best defense against getting, or managing diabetes, is a healthy diet.
To learn more about eating a healthy diet, visit the American Diabetes Association Web site Food and Fitness.
To learn more about general health and wellness; diet and good nutrition; and, physical fitness take the online skills training class: Living a Healthy Life -- Wellness and Physical Fitness.
For more information on diabetes, diabetes prevention, diabetic retinopathy, and other diabetes related information visit these Web sites:
American Diabetes Association
1701 Beauregard Street
Alexandria, VA 22311
Center for Disease Control & Prevention
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30333
National Eye Institute
2020 Vision Place
Bethesda, MD 20892
National Diabetes Education Program
One Diabetes Way
Bethesda, MD 20814
Prevent Blindness America
211 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 1700
Chicago, IL 60606
WV Diabetes Prevention and Control Program
Division of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease
350 Capitol Street, Room 319
Charleston, WV 25301-3715
dLife: For Your Diabetes Life
Updated: May 24, 2012