One in three Americans will develop diabetes during their lifetime. One in three Oklahomans already has diabetes or pre-diabetes.The state is ranked third in the nation for the highest death rate from diabetes.
Oklahomans are losing their vision, losing limbs and dying from diabetes in shockingly high numbers, but in many cases, the disease can be controlled and even prevented with proper diet and exercise, said Senator Susan Paddack, D-Ada. It is an epidemic, but it is within our power to do something about it.
Paddack, Rep. Lee Denney, R-Cushing, and Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, D-Tulsa, are working with fellow lawmakers, medical professionals and others to help raise awareness of the disease.
November is National Diabetes Month, and World Diabetes Day is Saturday, November 14. As part of those observances, Diabetes State of Our State, will be held at the Capitol on Thursday, November 12, to raise diabetes awareness and pay tribute to Oklahomans who are fighting the disease, Denney said
During the 2015 legislative session, Paddack, Denney, and McDaniel worked with a bipartisan group of lawmakers, medical professionals and health advocates to form the Diabetes Caucus to help the state better address the disease, which is the leading cause of kidney failure, nontraumatic lower-limb amputations and new cases of blindness among U.S. adults. The three also co-authored legislation directing the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and the State Department of Health to collaborate to identify benchmarks and develop goals to reduce diabetes, improve health care services for those with the disease and better control complications.
In 2013 alone there were 6,980 hospital admissions in Oklahoma with diabetes as a primary diagnosisthe cost was $221.8 million. A diabetes prevention program costs an average of $500 per participant. Compare that to the increased insurance cost for employers of $10,000 per year for each person they cover who is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, McDaniel said. By raising awareness about diabetes and how to prevent or control this disease, we can save lives, improve our quality of life and save billions of dollars in the private and public sectors.
Oklahomas World Diabetes Day event will begin with a meet and greet and refreshments on Thursday, November 12, at 8:30 a.m. in the second floor Rotunda of the Capitol. The event then will move to the House chamber at 9:00 a.m. and will end around noon.