For Immediate Release
May 11, 2010

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

May 9-15 is National Women's Health Week

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is joining the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health in celebrating National Women’s Health Week May 9 – 15 to call attention to the importance of women’s health. The theme of this year’s National Women’s Health Week is “It’s Your Time” and encourages women to take the time to live a healthier, happier and longer life.  Every day this week, KDHE will distribute topical news releases geared towards women’s health.

In support of National Women’s Health Week, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment encourages women to take steps to prevent and control diabetes.

In Kansas, about eight percent of women 18 years and older have been diagnosed with diabetes, while many more don’t know they have the disease. In Kansas, some populations are more likely to have diabetes than others. This is the case for women with disabilities. Women with disabilities in Kansas are three times more likely to have diabetes than women without disabilities in Kansas. Other populations at high risk for diabetes include American-American and Hispanic women.

Type 2 Diabetes often goes undiagnosed because many of its symptoms develop gradually and seem harmless. And, often, people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms at all. Symptoms may include:  

“Early detection of diabetes symptoms and proper treatment can decrease the chance of developing complications of diabetes,” said Roderick Bremby, KDHE Secretary.

These complications include blindness, lower extremity amputation, renal failure, cardiovascular diseases and premature death. Diabetes was one of the 10 leading causes of death among women in Kansas in 2008.

“Fortunately, diabetes can be prevented and controlled with proper blood sugar management and lifestyle changes, such as engaging in moderate physical activity, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight,” said Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, State Health Officer and Director of Health for KDHE. “Recent studies have shown that people at high risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight!”

It is important to receive routine care from a primary health care provider. Ask your doctor how to better manage your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

Determining your risk for diabetes only takes a few minutes! Are you at risk? Find out by visiting: www.diabetes.org. For more information about diabetes in Kansas, contact the Kansas Diabetes Prevention & Control Program at 785-291-3739.

For more information about National Women’s Health Week, visit: www.womenshealth.gov/nwhw/