Press Release

November 12, 2010


Diabetes on the Rise in Illinois  

World Diabetes Day – reducing the risks 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In recognition of World Diabetes Day, Sunday, November 14, 2010, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold is encouraging Illinoisans to go for a walk this weekend and eat fruits and vegetables. A healthy diet and physical activity are keys to reducing the risk of developing diabetes.

As many as one in three U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050, according to a recent analysis from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Currently, one in 10 U.S. adults has diabetes. CDC projects the prevalence of diabetes will rise sharply over the next 40 years due to an aging population more likely to develop type-2 diabetes, increases in minority groups that are at high risk for type-2 diabetes, and people with diabetes living longer.

The percentage of adults diagnosed with diabetes in Illinois is following the national trend and continues to increase. In 2008, approximately 8.4 percent of Illinoisans had diabetes, compared to 6.4 percent just 10 years earlier in 1998. Nationally, about 6.1 percent of adults reported diabetes in 2008.

“We must work to reduce the number of people developing diabetes in Illinois,” said Dr. Arnold. “Not only are there health impacts of diabetes - increased risk for heart disease, blindness and kidney failure, there are also economic impacts due to health care costs and lower work productivity. By improving lifestyle choices on health eating and physical activity, we can help reduce the health and economic burden of diabetes.”

People with diagnosed diabetes have medical costs that are more than twice that of those without the disease according to the CDC. The total costs of diabetes are an estimated $174 billion annually, including $116 billion in direct medical costs.

The signs of diabetes are frequent thirst, constant urination, unusual hunger, rapid loss of weight, and obvious weakness and fatigue.

Risk factors for developing diabetes include:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • A parent, brother, or sister with diabetes
  • African American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American/Latino heritage
  • Physical inactivity - exercising fewer than three times a week

Two keys to reducing the risk of diabetes are eating healthy and regular exercise.

For more information on diabetes, log onto

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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