Diabetes Awareness—Don’t Sugar-coat It

What is Diabetes?

When you have diabetes, your body has trouble using sugar (glucose) in the blood. This leads to too much sugar in your blood.

A diabetes diagnosis can be scary. If your doctor tells you you’re at risk for developing diabetes, you should take it very seriously. But there are ways you can start living healthier right away. If you already have diabetes, you can control it and be a healthy person living with diabetes.

Diabetes in South Carolina

Diabetes is growing at an epidemic rate in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 30 million Americans have diabetes and face its devastating consequences. What’s true nationwide also is true in South Carolina.

South Carolina’s Diabetes Epidemic

  • Approximately 576,211 people in South Carolina, or 14.1% of the adult population, have diabetes
  • Of these, an estimated 127,000 have diabetes but don’t know it, greatly increasing their health risk
  • In addition, 1,315,000 people in South Carolina, 37.2% of the adult population, have prediabetes, with blood glucose levels higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes
  • Every year, an estimated 28,000 people in South Carolina are diagnosed with diabetes.

Improving Lives, Preventing Diabetes and Finding a Cure
In 2015, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health invested $10,369,811 in diabetes-related research projects in South Carolina. The Division of Diabetes Translation at the CDC spent $3,173,941 on diabetes prevention and educational programs in South Carolina in 2016.
(Source: American Diabetes Association)

The High Cost of Diabetes

Diabetes and prediabetes cost an estimated $5.4 billion in South Carolina each year.

The serious complications include heart disease, stroke, amputation, end-stage kidney disease, blindness—and death.

People with diabetes have medical expenses approximately 2.3 times higher than those who do not have diabetes.

  • Total direct medical expenses for diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes, prediabetes and gestational diabetes in South Carolina was estimated at $4.1 billion in 2012.
  • In addition, another $1.3 billion was spent on indirect costs from lost productivity due to diabetes.

(Source: American Diabetes Association)

Are You at Risk?

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Your provider can diagnose diabetes through blood tests. These tests show if your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high.

Learn more about diabetes & risk factors

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