Press Release
 November 4, 2013
Melaney Arnold (217) 558-0500

Diabetes in Illinois Projected to Increase 25 Percent in Next 6 Years

SPRINGFIELD – The percentage of Illinois adults diagnosed with diabetes rose 60 percent between 1995 and 2010, and it is projected the number of diagnosed diabetes cases will rise another 25 percent by 2020. This November, American Diabetes Month, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck is encouraging everyone to learn the risk factors for diabetes and how to reduce or eliminate them.

“With more than 827,000 adults in Illinois diagnosed with diabetes and more than 2,700 residents dying from the disease each year, you need to know how to control your risk of being diagnosed with diabetes,” said Dr. Hasbrouck. “First, learn your numbers – weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels – and then talk with your health care professional about what you can do to make sure those numbers are at a healthy level.”

Diabetes is serious chronic disease caused when blood sugar (glucose) levels are above normal and a hormone called insulin is not able to help glucose get into the cells, causing sugar to build up in the blood. When this happens, it can cause kidney failure, blindness, heart attacks, strokes and amputations.

Major risk factors for developing diabetes include:

  • obesity, overweight
  • physically inactive
  • unhealthy diet
  • tobacco use
  • age
  • ethnicity
  • chronic conditions
  • family history

The Illinois adult mortality rate for diabetes in 2010 (the most recent available data) was 19.5 per 100,000 compared to the U.S. rate of 22.4 per 100,000. By gender, race and ethnicity, in 2010, more men than women in Illinois died due to diabetes; more blacks than whites; and more non-Hispanic than Hispanic.

Signs of diabetes may include:

  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • increased hunger
  • weight loss, despite eating more than usual
  • fatigue
  • blurred vision
  • slow healing sores or frequent infections

According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2012, medical expenses attributable to diabetes in Illinois totaled $8.98 billion, and indirect expenses, such as lost productivity and premature mortality, totaled more than $2.39 billion.

Diabetes prevention lifestyle changes include:

  • watching your weight - set realistic, yet clinically meaningful weight loss goals
  • eating healthy - talk with a registered dietitian who specializes in diabetes
  • being active - 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity five days a week
  • controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol.- talk with a primary care physician

For more information about diabetes and to take a test to determine your risk for the disease, go to

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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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