Free diabetes screening scheduled this month in Vermillion

Free diabetes screening scheduled this month in Vermillion Clay County Community Health will be offering blood glucose screening and blood pressure checks July 17, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church's Ice Cream Social and July 19, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Clay County Fair.

* As many as a third of the 43,000 South Dakotans with diabetes don't know they have this deadly disease.

* There are approximately 6,200 new cases of diabetes diagnosed each year in South Dakota.

* Common complications include blindness, amputations, kidney disease, heart disease, and a much higher risk of premature death.

In an effort to detect undiagnosed diabetes and increase overall awareness of the disease, Gov. Janklow is calling for a mass screening campaign. The campaign will give people a chance to have a free finger stick blood glucose and blood pressure test. If the screening finds individuals with elevated blood sugar levels, they will be referred on to their medical providers for follow-up. The screenings will be held all summer at locations throughout South Dakota.

The governor has asked the Department of Health to spearhead the screening project and is also calling for partners throughout the state � local clinics and hospitals, health care providers, clinics, community groups, businesses, and medical and pharmaceutical companies. The aim is to offer screening at fairs, festivals and other scheduled events in as many communities in the state as possible.

Anyone who is interested in organizing a screening event in their own area should contact the Department of Health, at 1-800-738-2301. Those who want to learn more about their risk of diabetes can complete a brief assessment at the project's Web site, As screening events are scheduled, they will also be listed on the site.

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