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Nearly 635,000 New Mexican Adults Have Prediabetes; Only One in Five Knows It

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

By New Mexico Department of Health | November 2, 2017

SANTA FE – November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Diabetes Prevention and Control Program encourages residents to both learn their risks for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and take preventive steps to potentially reduce developing the disease.

Almost 635,000 New Mexican adults have prediabetes, and according to national estimates, only 1 in 5 is aware of it.  Prediabetes is a condition where a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for them to be diagnosed with diabetes. With this lack of awareness comes the potential for significant health problems including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Governor Susana Martinez has proclaimed November as Diabetes Awareness Month in New Mexico to increase awareness about the immediate and long-term impact of diabetes to New Mexico residents, families and communities.

“A staggering 868,500 New Mexico adults are estimated to have either prediabetes or diabetes and these conditions together cost our state economy more than $2.5 billion a year in direct and indirect costs,” said Department of Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher. “It’s our priority to educate New Mexicans about the risks of diabetes and help them make healthy changes.

Sedentary behavior — such as time spent sitting at the computer, in a meeting, or watching TV—has a negative effect on preventing or managing health problems, including diabetes. Physical movement improves blood sugar management for anyone who has a sedentary job is overweight, obese or who has difficulty maintaining blood sugars in a healthy range.

The American Diabetes Association offers an online test to measure your risk for type 2 diabetes, but you are at increased risk for diabetes if:

·         You are overweight.

·         You are physically inactive.

·         A parent, brother or sister has diabetes.

·         You are Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Asian American, African American or Pacific Islander.

·         You had a baby weighing more than nine pounds or had gestational diabetes.

·         You have high blood pressure.

·         You have low HDL (good cholesterol).

·         You have high triglycerides.

Warning signs for diabetes include frequent trips to the bathroom, unquenchable thirst, losing weight without trying, weakness or fatigue, tingling or numbness in your hands, legs or feet and more. Symptoms can also include blurred vision, itchy or dry skin, cuts and bruises that take a long time to heal. People with prediabetes or diabetes may also have no symptoms at all.

You can learn more about diabetes, state statistics, resources and more by visiting the NMDOH Diabetes Prevention and Control Program at https://nmhealth.org/about/phd/cdb/dpcp/.

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