Baton Rouge - Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that he has declared November Diabetes Awareness Month in Louisiana. More than 521,000 adults in Louisiana suffer from diabetes and approximately 1.272 million adults have prediabetes.

“Diabetes is a serious illness that touches the lives of so many of our family members, friends and communities and we must do all that we can to raise the awareness of this disease,” said Gov. Edwards. “It can affect both children and adults suddenly and cause devastating complications. Awareness of risk factors and symptoms can vastly increase the likelihood of those in need getting the appropriate medical attention as quickly as possible.”

Diabetes is among the leading cause of death in Louisiana. There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 (T1D) occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Presently, there is no prevention or cure for T1D. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is the most common and is called insulin resistant. It can strike suddenly and can cause dependence on insulin for life.

“This awareness month calls attention to the fact that one in every eight Louisiana adults has been diagnosed with diabetes,” said Dr. Rebekah Gee, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health. “We are focused on improving this number and the health of all Louisianans by increasing health care coverage and access to care through Medicaid expansion. In just the first four months since expansion, more than 35,500 adults are now getting primary care, and 489 of these individuals have been diagnosed with diabetes and are receiving treatment. Expansion is allowing us to offer citizens a better chance at recovery and good health and create a better future for our state.” 

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Click here to read the proclamation.