President’s Message

As many of you are aware, in several parts of the world, the beginning of November marks the start of a month-long series of activities aimed at raising diabetic awareness and calling for urgent action to tackle the diabetes epidemic. The San Diego County Optometric Society encourages you to use this month to educate your patients about diabetes more than ever before, and join us in bringing diabetic awareness to as many San Diegans as possible through community outreach events.

American Diabetes Month Facts and Figures

Prevalence:

  • Diabetes affects nearly 30 million children and adults in the U.S. today (close to 10% of our population)
  • Another 86 million are considered as being high-risk for developing type 2 diabetes
  • Recent studies project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes by 2050
  • Every 19 seconds someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with diabetes
  • African Americans and Hispanics are almost twice as likely to have diabetes than Caucasians

The Toll on Health:

  • Diabetes nearly doubles the risk for heart attack and for death from heart disease
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among working-age adults
  • The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for people without diabetes
  • Roughly 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nerve damage that could result in pain in the feet or hands, slowed digestion, sexual dysfunction and other nerve problems

Cost of Diabetes:

  • The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. is $245 billion
  • Direct medical costs reach $176 billion and the average medical expenditure among people with diabetes is more than two times higher than those without the disease
  • Indirect costs amount to $69 billion (disability, work loss, premature mortality)
  • 1 in 10 health care dollars is spent treating diabetes and its complications
  • 1 in 5 health care dollars is spent caring for people with diabetes

The Good News?

People who are at high risk for type 2 diabetes can lower their risk by more than half if they make healthy changes. These changes include: eating healthy, increasing physical activity, and losing weight.

How Can You Make a Difference?

We can use this month to proactively raise awareness about diabetes risk factors and persuade our patients to make healthy lifestyle changes. Encourage your patients to make small changes initially, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and making better food/drink decisions. Talk to all of your patients about getting their regular checkups with their primary care practitioner, including a work-up for blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Also, make sure that your patients are aware of the potential effects that diabetes can have on the eyes and vision.

Sign up for the Step Out Walk: To Stop Diabetes

Sunday October 18th 9:00am @ NTC Park in Liberty Station

For many of us, diabetes is such a huge part of our practices and affects not only the lives of many of our patients, but also our friends, family, and colleagues.

SDCOS encourages you to join our team as either a “walker” or “virtual-walker.” We whole-heartedly believe that it is super important for us to support this group, and let’s make 2015 the biggest, best, and most fund-raised year ever!