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New Mexico Department of Health and Albuquerque Isotopes Team Up to “Throw Diabetes a Curve”

Event Brings Awareness to Type 2 Diabetes and Prediabetes

SANTA FE, NM – The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is teaming up with the Albuquerque Isotopes to increase awareness of type 2 diabetes and prediabetes in New Mexico. The “Throw Diabetes a Curve” event will be held during Thursday night’s home game against the Omaha Storm Chasers. The game is scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m.

“We all play a role in creating a network of support for people with diabetes,” said Department of Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher.  “Efforts to increase awareness of the seriousness of diabetes and prediabetes are critically important as we work together to improve health outcomes and decrease the daily burden of diabetes in our state.”

As part of pre-game activities, the ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by 76-year-old Joseph Fragua, Sr. from Jemez Pueblo. Diagnosed with type 2 diabetes over 40 years ago, Fragua has learned to manage his diabetes and high blood pressure with the support of his family, doctors, and community. Fragua is currently participating in the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program offered by NMDOH.  The program is a free six-week workshop for people with chronic health conditions and covers subjects such as exercise, nutrition, appropriate use of medications, and how to prevent or delay complications.

The first 3,000 fans (ages 16 and older) attending the game at Isotopes Park will receive a t-shirt promoting “Throw Diabetes a Curve”. Information about how to prevent or manage diabetes and how to enroll in programs will also be available at the NMDOH booth in the concourse.

NMDOH estimates more than 230,000 New Mexican adults have diabetes, and that one in five is not aware of their condition.  Additionally, an estimated 620,000 New Mexico adults have prediabetes, a condition that precedes type 2 diabetes in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal. Unfortunately, four out of five persons with prediabetes are unaware of their condition. This lack of awareness prevents adults with prediabetes from taking important steps to help prevent or delay developing type 2 diabetes. Both diabetes and prediabetes can lead to serious and costly health complications, especially when they’re unrecognized or not properly controlled.

Thursdays event will also promote a new campaign from NMDOH, “Paths to Health NM: Tools for Healthier Living”, which includes free prevention and self-management programs. Designed for adults of all ages, including those living with disabilities, the programs help individuals gain the confidence and motivation they need to take care of their health, as well as learn new skills to prevent diabetes or better manage their chronic health conditions. The programs are offered around the state by trained individuals in community and clinical settings. The initiative is supported by the New Mexico Department of Health Diabetes Prevention and Control Program.

For more information on diabetes, visit the New Mexico Department of Health’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Program website at www.diabetesnm.org or call (505) 850-0176.

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