The Impact of Diabetes in Arkansas
Diabetes is a serious and costly chronic illness. In 2014, there were almost 288,800 adults in Arkansas with a known diagnosis of diabetes, that’s more that 1 out of every 9 adults in the state. Those with a diagnosis of diabetes have medical expenses that are “approximately 2.3 times higher than those for who do not have diabetes.”
An estimated 75,000 adults in Arkansas had diabetes but did not know it. An additional 797,000 adults or more than one-third Arkansas had prediabetes in 2014.
Diabetes impacts children as well: the American Diabetes Association estimates that “one out of every three children born after 2000 in the United States will be directly affected by diabetes” at some time in their lives.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases in which the body either does not produce enough insulin, or doesn’t properly use the insulin that the body makes. Insulin is needed to convert sugar in the food we eat into energy needed by every cell in the human body. The symptoms of diabetes are often subtle and may go undetected for a long period. Unfortunately high sugar can cause serious and life-altering medical complications; but people with diabetes can take steps to control the disease and lower their risk of developing complications. Learn more and watch a video on how diabetes affects the body by clicking here.
The Different Types of Diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes, formerly called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes, occurs when the body's immune system attacks and destroys its own insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes develops most often in children or young adults but can occur at any age. It accounts for about 5 percent of diagnosed diabetes in the United States.
- Type 2 diabetes, formerly called noninsulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes, usually begins as insulin resistance-metabolic syndrome, a disorder in which the body's cells do not use insulin properly. Being overweight and inactive increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. This form of diabetes usually develops in adults older than 40, however, type 2 diabetes increasingly occurs in children and adolescents. About 95 percent of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.
- Gestational diabetes is a form of glucose intolerance that develops during pregnancy. It occurs more frequently among African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans and American Indians and is also more common among obese women and women with a family history of diabetes. To learn more click here:
To Learn about the Symptoms of Diabetes click here.
- Prediabetes is indicated by higher-than-normal blood glucose levels, but not high enough to be considered diabetes. Before developing type 2 diabetes, individuals usually have prediabetes. An estimated 797,000 adult Arkansans have prediabetes and are at very high risk for developing the disease.
You can find out if you are at risk by texting “RISKTEST” to 97779 or click “TAKE THE RISK TEST” in the box below.
The most important thing you can do is find out if you have Type 2 diabetes or are at risk for developing it. If you are overweight or obese and between ages 40-70 you should be tested for prediabetes and diabetes even if you have no symptoms or other risk factors.
Studies have shown that people with prediabetes can prevent or delay diabetes with modest weight loss, healthy eating and increased physical activity. Diabetes Prevention Recognition Programs have been shown to be effective and cost-effective in helping individuals with prediabetes to lose weight and prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Learn more here. Early treatment not only can prevent or minimize some of the serious problems caused by high blood glucose, but by acting early can save you money in the future.
If You Are At Risk, What Do You Do Next?
Talk with your health care provider at your next visit and get tested.
If you have been diagnosed with either Prediabetes or Diabetes, here’s where you can get help. Remember, you are not alone!
If you have prediabetes, enroll in a National Diabetes Prevention Program Recognized Program (DPRP). These programs are effective in delaying or preventing type 2 diabetes in people with prediabetes and they are cost-effective.
Find a National Prediabetes Prevention Programs near you.
If you have diabetes, learn how to live well with diabetes by enrolling in a Diabetes Self-Management Education and support (DSME/S) program.
The National Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes states that all people with diabetes should participate in diabetes self-management education and support, and individualized medical nutrition therapy (MNT).
Find a recognized diabetes self-management education program near you:
- American Association of Diabetes Educators - List of Accredited Programs
- American Diabetes Association – List of Recognized Programs
If You Are a Health Care Professional, Bring These Programs to Your Organization
For more information about establishing a Diabetes Prevention Recognized Program, learn more here or contact the Arkansas Department of Health, Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Branch at 501-661-2942 for technical assistance.
For more information on applying or receiving technical assistance with the DSME application process, contact the Arkansas Department of Health, Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Branch at 501-661-2942.
Providers download the Prevent Diabetes STAT toolkit developed through a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Medical Association.
- US Preventative Services Task Force Recommendations for Primary Care Practice (2015).
- Li, R., et. al. Economic Evaluation of Combined Diet and Physical Activity Promotion Programs to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes Among Persons at Increased Risk: A Systematic Review for the Community Preventive Services Task Force. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2015.
- American Diabetes Association Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes - 2017. Diabetes Care. 2017; 40(Suppl1).