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Notice to Readers: National Diabetes Awareness Month --- November 2001

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. During 1998 in the United States, an estimated 15.7 million persons had diabetes (1). From 1990 to 2000, an increase of 49% occurred in the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes and gestational diabetes in U.S. adults (2); however, lifestyle changes, including weight control and regular physical activity can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, even in high-risk persons (3).

During November, 59 state and territorial diabetes control programs, other partners, and CDC will highlight activities that increase awareness of the Initiative on Diabetes and Women's Health and of the need for persons with diabetes to receive influenza and pneumococcal vaccines. Persons with diabetes should receive pneumococcal and annual influenza vaccinations because they are more likely than persons without diabetes to die from complications of influenza and pneumonia (4). In 1997, only half of adults with diabetes received an annual influenza vaccination, and one third received a pneumococcal vaccine (5).

CDC, the American Diabetes Association, the American Public Health Association, and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials cosponsor the Initiative on Diabetes and Women's Health, which has three phases: a report; the National Public Health Action Plan for Women and Diabetes; and a national conference. CDC's recently published report, Diabetes and Women's Health Across the Life Stages: A Public Health Perspective, is the first major publication to address the unique and serious impact diabetes has on women throughout life and to address the public health implications of these issues (6). The publication presents 1) trends in risk factors for diabetes and its complications during adolescence; 2) the increased risk for offspring to develop diabetes associated with intrauterine exposure to hyperglycemia; 3) the effect of menopause on health status; and 4) the increase in poverty and disability for older women.

Additional information about diabetes is available from CDC, telephone (877) 232-3422, e-mail diabetes@cdc.gov, and from <http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes>.

References

  1. CDC. National diabetes fact sheet: national estimates and general information on diabetes in the United States. Atlanta, Georgia: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, 1998.
  2. Mokdad AH, Bowman BA, Ford ES, et al. The continuing epidemics of obesity and diabetes in the United States. JAMA 2001;286:1195--200.
  3. Diabetes Prevention Program. National Institutes of Health. 2001 [1 screen]. Available at <http://www.niddk.nih.gov/patient/dpp/dppq&a.htm>. Accessed October 2001.
  4. Valdez R, Narayan KM, Geiss LS, Engelgau MM. Impact of diabetes mellitus on mortality associated with pneumonia and influenza among non-Hispanic black and white US adults. Am J Public Health 1999;89:1715--21.
  5. CDC. Influenza and pneumococcal vaccination rates among persons with diabetes mellitus---United States, 1997. MMWR 1999;48:961--7.
  6. Beckles GLA, Thompson-Reid PE, eds. Diabetes and women's health across the life stages: a public health perspective. Atlanta, Georgia: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Diabetes Translation, 2001.


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