For Immediate Release
March 23, 2009

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

March 24 is Diabetes Alert Day

Legislature Adopts Resolution on Progress of Kansas Diabetes Plan

March 24 is Diabetes Alert Day. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), together with the American Diabetes Association (ADA), is encouraging people to take the Diabetes Risk Test and find out if they or their loved ones are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.  A diabetes screening event was held today from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. in the Docking State Office Building at 915 S.W. Harrison in Topeka. Diabetes Alert Day is observed on the fourth Tuesday of every March.

A resolution was read and adopted in the Kansas Legislature to acknowledge Diabetes Alert Day and direct the Kansas Diabetes Advisory Council to submit a report to the legislature in 2010 on the progress of the Kansas Diabetes Plan. The plan was unveiled in July 2008 and provides guidance for collaborative statewide efforts to reduce the burden of diabetes and improve the health of Kansans over the next five years.

“Eating healthier and increasing physical activity can reduce your risk and your children’s risk of developing diabetes,” said Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of KDHE. “The Kansas Diabetes Plan spells out the goals that KDHE and our partners in health can work toward to decrease the burden of diabetes in the state.”

Bremby said those goals include improving health workforce competency in diabetes standards of care, enhancing access to diabetes self-management information, programs and services, and other activities.

People with diabetes are at increased risk of serious and potentially fatal health complications, including cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure, nervous system damage and lower limb amputations. In Kansas, 7.3 percent of adults – more than 150,000 – have been diagnosed with diabetes and nearly 65,000 more might have diabetes but are undiagnosed.

“Kansas has a plan for reducing the impact of diabetes. The important thing now is to show that we are making progress to carry out that plan,” stated Bremby.