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Florida Department of Health in Seminole County Promotes Diabetes Awareness Month

By Tiffani McDaniel

November 04, 2015

Sanford, Fla.  Diabetes is a big concern in Seminole County, and this month the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County (DOH-Seminole) is reminding residents to eat right and be active to prevent and manage diabetes.  Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the body cannot control blood sugars. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, twenty-nine million people were diagnosed with diabetes in 2014.  

November is American Diabetes Month, an important time to highlight the significance of prevention, screenings, and management. “Eat Well, America!” is the theme of this year’s awareness month, sponsored by the American Diabetes Association. The theme highlights the important role diet and nutrition play in preventing and managing diabetes.

The age-adjusted diabetes mortality rate was 23.6 deaths per 100,000 for Seminole County in 2013. This rate was higher than the state rate of 19.6. Males in Seminole County had a higher rate than females. Seminole County African Americans had the highest age-adjusted rate from diabetes (47.5 per 100,000), which was approximately two times the overall rate for Seminole County.

“Every nineteen seconds, someone in the United States is diagnosed with diabetes,” said Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Officer for DOH-Seminole. “It is estimated that by 2050, as many as one in three American adults will develop type 2 diabetes if current trends continue.”

Diabetes is a growing burden in the United States, affecting the health and quality of life of millions of Americans. Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

Symptoms of diabetes may include frequent urination, unusual thirst, blurred vision, and tingling/numbness in the hands or feet. Some people may also experience unusual weight loss and frequent infections. Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, physical inactivity, and race/ethnicity.

It is important to find out early if you have diabetes. If you have two or more of the risk factors above, you should consider getting a blood test from a health care provider.

For more information about diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association website at www.diabetes.org. Additional information can also be found at DOH-Seminole’s website, www.seminolecohealth.com.

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