LANSING, MICH. – Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. and Michigan, and to highlight the importance of preventing and managing diabetes, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed November 2020 as Diabetes Awareness Month in Michigan.
This month is dedicated to people across the state living with diabetes, prediabetes and people taking care of loved ones managing these conditions. Managing and preventing diabetes is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, since people living with diabetes are at a greater risk for COVID-19 complications.
“The COVID-19 pandemic, and how the virus has severely impacted those with underlying medical conditions, means it is even more important for people to be able to manage their diabetes well,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “People living with diabetes should work with their physician to manage their condition, which includes a healthy diet, exercise, and taking any medications as directed. We encourage people across Michigan living with diabetes to create a diabetes preparedness plan, including having extra medication and supplies on hand.”
Approximately 870,000 Michigan adults have been diagnosed with diabetes and more than 2.7 million adults across the state are estimated to have prediabetes.
People of color, people living in poverty and people with a disability are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes, largely due to less access to health care and other programs and services. Specifically, non-Hispanic Black adults have 1.4 times the prevalence of diabetes when compared with non-Hispanic White adults Adults with a disability have two times the prevalence of diabetes when compared to those without a disability.
In addition to being at increased risk for illnesses such as COVID-19 and the flu, uncontrolled diabetes also puts people at risk for serious complications like cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney disease and dialysis and nerve damage and amputation.
Michiganders are encouraged to learn more about managing and preventing diabetes at Michigan.gov/Diabetes.