Indiana programs can help prevent and control diabetes

first_imgINDIANAPOLIS – An estimated 11 percent of Indiana residents have Type II diabetes, and during American Diabetes Month in November health experts are spreading the word about the importance of prevention.Laura Heinrich, section director of the Cardiovascular Health and Diabetes Program at the Indiana State Department of Health, says 500,000 Indianans have diabetes, and the toll on health can be significant.“If not taken care of, this disease can lead to multiple complications anywhere from the heart, the kidney, the feet, and the eye,” says Heinrich. “We need to raise awareness of both the control of diabetes and the prevention of diabetes.”Heinrich says about 95 percent of people with diabetes have Type II, which healthier lifestyle choices, better nutrition, and physical activity can help prevent. If current trends don’t change, estimates put the number of Americans with diabetes as high as 30 percent by 2050.Those most at risk of getting diabetes include people 45 and older, as well as those who are overweight, inactive, and have an unhealthy diet. Heinrich says lifestyle interventions can make a big difference.“If you’re overweight, lose five to seven percent of your current weight and become more physically active,” she says. “Just include 30 minutes of activity a day. By doing those simple things and continuing to do it over time your health improves and your risk of getting diabetes decreases.”Heinrich says with weight loss alone, a person can decrease their chances of getting diabetes by 58 percent.Hospitals and community health centers throughout Indiana offer diabetes education and support programs to help people prevent and manage the disease.Mary Kuhlmanlast_img

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