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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@delaware.gov

Date: October27, 2016


Dover, DE (Oct. 27, 2016) - Approximately 80,000 Delawareans have diabetes, the leading cause of kidney failure, adult blindness, lower-limb amputations, heart disease and stroke. But the health impacts of the disease can be managed through healthier lifestyle choices and self-management of medications.

That's why more than 50 exhibitors will showcase health services, supplies and programs to Delawareans with diabetes at the Diabetes Wellness Expo, scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Dover Downs Conference Center, in Dover. The expo will bring together healthcare facilities, diabetes-related organizations and businesses to provide an opportunity for people at risk for, or with, diabetes to access to the most up-to-date services, products and information. Health professionals and caregivers benefit as well.

The focus of this year's event, organized by the Delaware Diabetes Coalition, Delaware's Division of Public Health (DPH) and other partners, is on the impact of the disease on the feet and dental health of diabetics. Free dental and foot exams will be offered, and the keynote speaker will be Dr. Susan Pugliese DDS, RN, General Practice Dentistry Program Director for Christiana Care Health Systems.

Remarks will also be provided by Delaware Senator Bethany Hall-Long, and DPH Director, Dr. Karyl Rattay

"Since DPH established the Diabetes Prevention and Control Program in 1998, our staff has worked hard to improve the quality of life for people living with diabetes, and preventing it among those who don't have diabetes," says Dr. Rattay. "We have implemented interventions at the State level to address the burden of diabetes in Delaware by improving health system design, access to care, and self-management skills. We’re grateful to the many partners who work with us on battling this life altering disease."

Obesity and diabetes are rising in Delaware like mirror images. That's why we call them the "twin epidemics." Obesity among Delawarean adults increased 45.5 percent in the past decade, from 21.1 percent in 2004 to 30.7 percent in 2014. And the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes among Delawarean adults increased 58.6 percent in the past decade, from 7.0 percent in 2004 to 11.1 percent in 2014.

Diabetes requires extensive medical monitoring and costly, lifelong treatment. According to the Burden of Diabetes in Delaware 2014 Update, the American Diabetes Association estimates that the total cost burden of diabetes in Delaware was $860 million in 2012.

The Diabetes Wellness Expo 2016 is FREE and includes educational presentations on diabetes/prediabetes management, services, resources and tips on controlling the disease. Screenings include blood sugars, blood pressure, foot care, eye exams and other diabetes related tests. Free flu shots will be provided at the expo. The public is urged to participate and learn more about diabetes self-management for themselves or loved ones with diabetes. A box lunch, including a gourmet sandwich, fruit and beverage will be provided on a first come, first serve basis.

For more information, call the Delaware Diabetes Coalition at 302-388-9728 or Delaware’s Division of Public Health's Diabetes and Heart Disease Prevention and Control Program at 302-744-1020. For information on diabetes in Delaware visit www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/dpc/diabetes.html.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person's spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.