November is Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month and the South Dakota Diabetes Coalition has information to help South Dakotans deal with the disease.

Diabetes is a leading global cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and amputation. According to the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization, more than 360 million people worldwide have diabetes.

In 2010, 41,821 people, or 6.9 percent of South Dakotans over the age of 17, had been told they have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, according to the South Dakota Diabetes Coalition. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates approximately 25 percent of people with diabetes do not know they have it, which means an additional 13,940 South Dakota adults could have undiagnosed diabetes.

Additionally, 35 percent of adults in the United States ages 20 years or older have prediabetes, meaning 79 million Americans are at risk for diabetes. By applying this analysis to South Dakota, more than 200,000 South Dakotans are at risk for developing diabetes.

Diabetes is a serious public health problem in South Dakota and the number of South Dakotans who have the disease or are at-risk for it grows each year. Research shows that Type 2 diabetes can be prevented. Lifestyle modifications such as proper nutrition and moderate exercise can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by as much as 60 percent.

Education and proper care can help people with diabetes live long and healthy lives and diabetes self-management education can teach people with diabetes to be proactive about their health, resulting in a better health status and increased quality of life. Awareness of resources and access to care allows people with diabetes to obtain necessary services and help prevent the complications that diabetes can bring.

The South Dakota Diabetes Coalition is a non-profit organization comprised of over 60 diverse partners – health care professionals, advocacy groups, government agencies, tribal health representatives, persons with diabetes, quality improvement and wellness program coordinators and many others. The Diabetes Coalition is a volunteer-based organization comprised of professionals and citizens who are passionate about preventing diabetes and empowering those with diabetes to successfully manage their health.

To learn more about diabetes and the South Dakota Diabetes Coalition, go to or contact your health care provider.

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