Press Release
November 1, 2012
Sabrina L. Miller (312) 814-8194

State Health Department Encourages Diabetes Prevention, Awareness

November is American Diabetes Month

CHICAGO – November is American Diabetes Month, and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is encouraging residents to make lifestyle changes like becoming physically active and eating healthier to reduce the risk of being diagnosed with the chronic but manageable disease. Quitting smoking is also important because the leading cause of death among diabetics is heart disease.

"It is important that we continue to raise awareness in Illinois that having a healthy, active lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetes, and by making healthier choices, we can reduce the health and economic burden of diabetes in Illinois," said IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck.

Nearly 26 million Americans are living with diabetes, a disease that can lead to serious complications like heart attack, stroke, amputation, blindness and kidney failure if left untreated or improperly managed. Another 79 million are at risk for developing Type-2 diabetes, formerly known as “adult onset” diabetes.

Over the past 20 years in Illinois, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled, reaching approximately 800,000 in 2011, with an additional 500,000 unaware that they have the disease. Certain populations, such as African-Americans, Latinos and Native Americans also have higher rates and more complications from diabetes.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Every 17 seconds, someone is diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Diabetes kills more people each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.
  • Recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take steps to stop diabetes.
  • The national estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes is $174 billion.

The signs of diabetes are frequent thirst, constant urination, unusual hunger, rapid weight loss, fatigue and blurred vision. Risk factors for developing diabetes include obesity, family history of diabetes, and physical inactivity.

Keys steps to reducing the risk of diabetes include eating healthy, regular exercise, limiting alcohol consumption and quitting smoking. The Illinois Tobacco Quitline can assist with a plan and resources for quitting by calling 1-866-QUIT-YES (1-866-784-8937).

For more information log onto the Illinois Diabetes Prevention and Control Program at:

idph online home
idph online home

Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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