With hopes of combating diabetes in Harlan County, Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop signed a proclamation on Tuesday declaring today as Diabetes Awareness Day in Harlan County. According to the Kentucky Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, the burden of diabetes in Kentucky and in the nation is large and growing.
Noted in the proclamation was that one in every nine adult Kentuckians have been diagnosed with diabetes. An estimated 611,000 (40.1 percent) of Kentuckians aged 40-74 have pre-diabetes. An estimated 370,000 Kentuckians have been diagnosed with diabetes.
Sixty-eight of Kentucky’s 120 counties fall within the Diabetes Belt. Harlan County, as in the Diabetes Belt, reports 11.7 percent (2,991) adults have been diagnosed with diabetes.
Kentucky ranks as the ninth highest state in the nation for diagnosed diabetes. If current trends continue, experts predict one in every three children born today will face a future of diabetes, according to information included in the document.
“Diabetes is prevalent in Kentucky and especially in eastern Kentucky,” said Grieshop. “I’m happy to be involved in making the awareness level become higher so that our citizens will obtain proper care. Many times diabetics are in a pre-diabetic stage for a number of years before they even become recognized as having diabetes. This awareness is so important in allowing our citizens to obtain proper care early.”
Health departments across the region offer diabetes self-management classes and diabetes support groups with health educators as well as dieticians said Carolyn Hacker, Cumberland Valley District Health Department Registered Dietician with the Kentucky Diabetes Prevention and Control Program.
“We all work together to increase awareness and prevention,” said Hacker. “Diabetes is controllable to prevent the complications associated with diabetes.”
Harlan County Health Department Health Educator Ken Howard said a diabetes support group meets in Harlan at the Harlan County Extension Depot on the second Tuesday of the month at 1 p.m. He said there will be no meetings during December, January and February, but will resume in March.
“By attending these meetings, citizens can learn how to manage their diabetes,” said Howard. “Usually, we have guest speakers who come in and speak regarding wound care, diet and other things associated with diabetes.”
For more information on diabetes and education offered, you may call the Harlan County Health Department at 573-3700.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at firstname.lastname@example.org