In recognition of November being National Diabetes Month, the Oklahoma State Department of Health is supporting efforts to bring awareness to the impact of diabetes on Oklahoma and its economy.
Oklahoma ranks eighth in the nation for percent of adults diagnosed with diabetes. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate more than one million Oklahomans have prediabetes, and two out of three are unaware they are at risk. Without proper intervention, it is estimated that 15-30 percent of them will develop Type 2 diabetes within five years, leaving them to pay more than double their current health care costs.
“Historically, the prevalence of diabetes has been higher in Oklahoma than in the United States as a whole,” said OSDH Diabetes Program Coordinator Rita Reeves. “The most current information from the CDC indicates the prevalence of Type 2 and Type 1 are increasing among young people.”
Average medical expenses for people diagnosed with diabetes are about $13,700 per year. Patients have a higher rate of being out of the workplace and receiving disability. Nearly 95 percent of cases are Type 2, which can be prevented or delayed through a lifestyle intervention with the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program. There are 21 programs in Oklahoma that offer guidance from a lifestyle coach to help set goals and adjust factors such as eating healthier, reducing stress and getting more physical activity.
Screening is the first step in preventing and managing diabetes. An online risk test to determine a person’s chance of having prediabetes is available here.
Those who have already been diagnosed with diabetes are encouraged to talk with their health care provider, and ask for a referral to an accredited self-management program, which can be found here.