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Report shows increase in diabetes in Delaware

Delaware Public Media

New data indicates, like many other states, diabetes continues to become more of a problem in Delaware.

Delaware’s 2021 Diabetes Burden Report shows the statewide rate of diabetes continuing its upward trend. The state’s rate for 2019 is 12.8 percent and it’s been increasing steadily since at least 2003 when it was 7.7 percent. It’s also higher than the national average 11 percent.

“Over the past 27 years we’ve more than doubled our rate of diabetes and we’ve more than doubled our rate of obesity and overweight,” said Kelli Janowski, a trainer and educator in the state Division of Public Health’s Diabetes Heart Disease Prevention and Control program.

Janowski says the state is working to combat diabetes by increasing awareness and support, collaborating with health providers, and encouraging self-management of prediabetes.

“People with diabetes really need to check their blood sugar every day,” she said. “They need to make sure that when they go to the doctor that they’re having their feet checked. They really need to know proper medication usage, and the importance that physical activity have on the effect of their blood sugar.”            

The report says diabetes and prediabetes costs the state more than $1 billion a year in direct and indirect medical costs. Meanwhile, Janowski says about $2 million in state and federal funds goes towards combating diabetes in Delaware.

The state lists several recommendations in the report, including developing a statewide diabetes registry, increasing access to prevention programs and providing more diabetes training for health workers.

More than 98,700 Delawareans are diagnosed with diabetes each year It is estimated that as many as 25,000 adults may be living in the state with undiagnosed diabetes.

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