Health Department Joins Diabetes Awareness Campaign

American Diabetes Month Focuses Attention on Major Public Issue


PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Health Department is joining with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and other organizations to raise awareness about the growing seriousness of diabetes and the importance of prevention and control during American Diabetes Month in November.

To focus attention on this major health issue, the local chapter of the American Diabetes Association is holding its annual EXPO on Saturday, November 9, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh. The event will feature free health screenings, cooking demonstrations and a wealth of information, fun and engaging activities for families and children. County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Health Department Director Dr. Karen Hacker will offer welcoming remarks to participants at 10 a.m. on the main stage.

“For those who have diabetes or are at risk for diabetes, the EXPO is an invaluable way to learn more about lifestyle changes to manage or prevent the disease,” said Health Director Dr. Karen Hacker. “With a growing number of individuals with diabetes or pre-diabetes, diabetes and the development of diabetes have become major public health issues. But diabetes can be prevented and given the known relationship between diabetes Type 2 and obesity, we know that efforts to prevent obesity and promote healthy lifestyles can help decrease the incidence of the disease.”

About 9% of Allegheny County residents 18 and older have been diagnosed with diabetes. Nationally, 26 million children and adults have diabetes and an additional 79 million are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. It is projected that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes by 2050.

Diabetes is a chronic disease which requires regular care. Lack of management can lead to heart attacks, strokes, amputation, blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage. But there is good news: diabetes complications can be prevented or delayed by properly managing blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Eating healthy with an emphasis on vegetables and fruit, being physically active, and quitting smoking also can help lower the risk of diabetes complications.

For people with diabetes who do not have health insurance, the Health Department offers its Guide to Health Services for the Uninsured and Underinsured. The directory can be downloaded from the Health Department’s web site at www.achd.net or requested by calling 412-687-ACHD. The Health Department also recommends that uninsured individuals contact the Health Insurance Marketplace at www.healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 to explore health insurance options.

For more information about the American Diabetes Association EXPO, please call 412-824-1181, ext. 4608 or visit http://www.diabetes.org/in-my-community/expo/2013/pittsburgh-expo-2013/.