Sen. Constance N. Johnson and Rep. Randy McDaniel along with other advocates will present the 3rd Annual State Capitol Dome Blue World Diabetes Day Program on Monday, November 14 to help raise awareness about diabetes, a growing health epidemic which kills more Americans each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.
The event will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 pm in the 2nd floor Rotunda of the State Capitol. Open to the public, the program is part of an effort in which 1,100 monuments worldwide will be lit blue in observance of World Diabetes Day.
“Every 17 seconds, someone is diagnosed with diabetes; and every day, 200 people lose their battle with the disease, which is tragic because it’s a preventable and manageable disease with proper care and nutrition,” said Johnson, D-Oklahoma County. “That’s why we have events like the one next month at the State Capitol. The key to prevention is education, and given that we have the fourth highest death rate from diabetes in the nation, it’s imperative that we do all we can to educate citizens about this horrible disease.”
Diabetes is the leading cause of heart attacks, strokes, amputations, blindness, kidney failure, and fetal mortality.
“One in six Oklahomans suffers from diabetes, which is the sixth leading cause of death in our state,” said Rep. McDaniel, R-Edmond. “These are staggering statistics, and yet the American Diabetes Association has estimated that one in three Americans will be diabetic by 2050 if current trends are not reversed. We hope that Oklahomans will take full advantage of all the information and tools that will be available at this special free event.”
This year’s theme, “A Healthy Mind Keeps the Blues Away” will focus on the relationship between diabetes and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, alcoholism and substance abuse, stress and trauma, as well as methods for screening.
According to Director of Consumer Involvement and Education with the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Association of Mental Illness, Dr. Wayne McGuire, there is a correlation between diabetes and mental illness.
“Diabetes is not uncommon among people with mental illness due to some medications, poor eating habits and lack of exercise,” said McGuire. “Consequently, individuals with diabetes should also be evaluated by a psychiatrist, and those with mental illness should be monitored for diabetes.”
More than 20 local and national organizations will be on hand to offer free information and education about diabetes prevention, management, and advocacy. Sessions will be presented on eating, foot care, and vision care as well as topics related to diabetes education and prevention. Certified Diabetes Educators will be available during the event to answer questions from attendees. A variety of screenings will also be provided including one for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition that affects many with diabetes. A collaborative effort will also focus on increasing youth awareness about diabetes prevention and management and policy initiatives that impact them.
The event will be sponsored by numerous agencies and community partners including the African American Community Diabetes Prevention Partners, the Oklahoma City/County Health Department, the State Department of Health, the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center, the Indian Health Clinic, the American Diabetes Association, and many others - all of whom focus on diabetes prevention and management in Oklahoma.