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Health Team

Report: N.C. faces a diabetes 'crisis'

Posted May 21, 2008 10:59 a.m. EDT
Updated May 21, 2008 11:17 a.m. EDT

 Ashley Bowman, a Forsyth county resident is looking for a new kidney after numerous life setbacks. Bowman is on the transplant list and in full-time dialysis. Despite what she's facing, she was determined to fulfill her dream.

— North Carolina “is facing a crisis” as the number of residents with diabetes continues to rise, according to a report released Wednesday.

More than 9 percent of North Carolina residents have diabetes, according to the state’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Branch. In the past decade, the number of people with the disease has increased by 102 percent.

“Our state is facing a crisis,” said Dr. Marcus Plesica, with the N.C. Division of Public Health. “We need to help North Carolinians take steps to prevent diabetes or we risk being overwhelmed by the health and economic consequences of an ever-growing diabetes epidemic.”

The new data show that diabetes is becoming more common among middle-income adults, adults between the ages of 35 and 44 and those age 65 and older, men and whites.

It continues to ravage the black, Hispanic and American Indian populations, officials said. Their rates of death and disability from diabetes and related problems, such as heart attacks, stroke, blindness, amputations and kidney failure, exceed those of other groups.

The good news is that Type 2 diabetes, which is more common, can be prevented and that people with diabetes can prevent the complications, Plesica said.

The report profiles several programs to prevent and control the disease:

  • Project DIRECT, a community-based diabetes prevention and control program in Wake County
  • Diabetes Today, a curriculum designed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide health professionals and community leaders with skills needed to mobilize communities and develop appropriate interventions for responding to the burden of diabetes and improving the quality of diabetes care
  • Hugh Young Memorial Diabetes Scholarship, which benefits professionals who attend diabetes training at the East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine.

For a copy of the report, visit www.ncdiabetes.org or call them toll-free number at 1-877-362-2678.