Lexington, Ky. (November 14, 2019) – Diabetes and prediabetes are on the rise in Kentucky. The prevalence of diabetes among Kentucky adults has increased from 6.5 percent – 240,000 adults – in 2000 to 12.9 percent – 442,480 adults – in 2017, according to the 2019 Kentucky Diabetes Report.
In recognition of National Diabetes Awareness Month, CHI Saint Joseph Health urges those who have a family history of diabetes, or believe they are at risk of developing diabetes, to schedule a quick and easy blood sugar test with your physician today. A blood test called the Hemoglobin A1c will determine whether you have prediabetes or diabetes.
“It’s extremely important to get your blood sugar tested because you could have prediabetes for years without any symptoms,” said Claudia Burnett, interim director, CHI Saint Joseph Health – Diabetes and Nutrition Care. “This disease regularly goes undetected until serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes show up.”
Once diagnosed with prediabetes, lifestyle changes can prevent type 2 diabetes from occurring. In 2016, Kentucky had the fourth highest mortality rate of diabetes in the nation, an increase in ranking from 14th in 2014. In 2017, diabetes was the primary diagnosis for 10,470 hospitalizations and 16,167 emergency department visits, according to the 2019 Kentucky Diabetes Report.
Prediabetes is a serious health condition that occurs when the body’s blood sugar levels are abnormally high, but not quite high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. The disease causes the cells in the body to stop responding to insulin made by the pancreas. This disrupts the supply of blood sugars needed for energy. The pancreas will then produce more insulin to support the cells, but cannot keep pace, causing blood sugar levels to rise, leading to type 2 diabetes.
Certain factors can increase your risk for developing prediabetes and diabetes. Those who are overweight, 45 or older, have a family history of type 2 diabetes, are physically inactive or don’t eat a healthy diet, as well as women who have had gestational diabetes or polycystic ovarian syndrome, are at a greater risk to develop prediabetes or diabetes. African-Americans, Hispanic and Latino Americans also have a higher chance of developing the disease.
“Healthy lifestyle choices can help you prevent prediabetes and its progression to type 2 diabetes, even if diabetes runs in your family,” said Burnett. “Eating healthier foods, getting more exercise and losing weight can reduce your risk.”
Visit www.chisaintjosephhealth.org/diabetes-nutrition-care-contact-information or call 859.313.2393 for information on how to prevent diabetes or to manage this disease once diagnosed.
About CHI Saint Joseph Health
CHI Saint Joseph Health, part of Catholic Health Initiatives, is one of the largest and most comprehensive health systems in the Commonwealth of Kentucky with 135 locations in 20 counties, including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies. In total, the health system serves patients in 35 counties statewide. CHI Saint Joseph Health is dedicated to building healthier communities by elevating patient care through an integrated physical and behavioral health delivery system. CHI Saint Joseph Health embodies a strong mission and faith-based heritage and works through local partnerships to expand access to care in the communities it serves.
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