Regional Health In Focus: Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. It can affect many parts of the body and is associated with serious health problems like heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and lower-limb amputation. These problems can lead to expensive medical appointments, a low quality of life and even death.

diabetesHowever, type 2 diabetes is preventable and treatable! With some simple lifestyle changes and the help of doctors and other members of the community, people diagnosed with diabetes can manage their symptoms and those who are at risk can prevent or delay diabetes.

Local Impact:

Across Jefferson, Lewis & St. Lawrence counties…

  • 11% of adults report having diabetes
  • 3% of adults report having prediabetes
  • 24% of those over 65 report having diabetes
  • 20% of adults with a household income below $25,000 per year report having diabetes

Compared to adults without a diabetes diagnosis, those who have diabetes are…

  • 2x more likely to have high blood pressure
  • 2x more likely to report fair or poor mental health
  • 3x more likely to be diagnosed with obesity
  • 3x more likely to report fair or poor physical health
  • 4x more likely to have respiratory disease
  • 5x more likely to have heart disease

How can I take action?

Step 1: Get Screened

Are you 45 or older? If you are, it’s time to get screened for diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all people over age 45 should consider getting tested, especially those who are overweight.

Younger than 45? You still might want to get tested for diabetes, especially if you are overweight or if you have high blood pressure, cholesterol or a family history of type 2 diabetes.

diabetesStep 2: Prevention

Type 2 diabetes is preventable! If your diabetes screening says you are at risk of developing diabetes, there’s still time to make some changes and prevent the disease.

Exercise, a healthy diet, and moderate weight loss can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, there are several locations across the North Country ready to help you achieve these goals and prevent diabetes. To learn more about the local Diabetes Prevention Program, visit

Step 3: Management

Already have diabetes? Don’t lose hope. There are many things you can do to manage your condition and live a healthy life.

Daily monitoring of blood-glucose levels can help reduce the risk of complications, and frequent urine tests, dilated eye exams and foot exams are also important. If you need help, our local Diabetes Self-Management Program is there for you. Visit to learn more.

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