PROVIDENCE - Governor Lincoln D. Chafee today joined Michael Fine, MD, director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH), and other diabetes educators at a ceremony at the Rhode Island State House proclaiming November 14 World Diabetes Day in Rhode Island.
The event, attended by representatives from dozens of organizations that provide programs and resources to prevent and control diabetes, was held in conjunction with Diabetes Day events taking place across the globe to raise awareness about this chronic disease.
"Diabetes is a significant health challenge for many Rhode Islanders," said Governor Chafee. "But the spirit of collaboration that we saw today between doctors, patients, insurance companies, members of the public workforce, and many more bodes well for our fight against diabetes and getting all Rhode Islanders on the path to healthy living."
The four calls to action for World Diabetes Day in Rhode Island were prevent, detect, control, and unite.
"Diabetes is a serious disease, but the good news is that it is both preventable and controllable," said Dr. Fine. "Diabetes can be prevented through changes in diet and exercise, and controlled through diet, exercise and sometimes, medication. The complications of diabetes can be prevented through good primary care, including reminders to quit smoking, get regular eye examinations, lose weight and test your blood sugar regularly."
Approximately 20 million Americans, or 8.3% of the country's population, suffer from diabetes. In Rhode Island, 7.4% of adults 18 years of age and older — or 62,000 residents — have been diagnosed with diabetes. Estimates place the actual number of Rhode Islanders with diabetes closer to 12% of the state's population, when the number of undiagnosed diabetics is considered.
In Rhode Island, $722 million annually is spent on direct healthcare cost for adults with diabetes. When indirect costs associated with lost productivity and premature mortality are factored in, the total costs of diabetes soars even higher.
Rhode Island's World Diabetes Day event was co-sponsored by the YMCA of Greater Providence, the American Diabetes Association, AARP Rhode Island, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
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