"The plans are finally in place for our first county-wide Diabetes Screening Day," announced Claudia Kurtzworth, regarding the diabetes prevention initiative spearheaded by the Niagara County Department of Health and the Niagara County Diabetes Coalition. Kurtzworth, a Niagara County public health educator, coordinates Diabetes Coalition activities in Niagara County. All four Niagara County hospitals will conduct free screenings and provide education for the community on Wednesday, Sept. 19. Attendees will have opportunities to speak with dietitians and diabetes educators, get free blood glucose tests and blood pressure checks, receive wellness and health insurance information, and enter a basket raffle.
Diabetes is a growing epidemic, with one in 10 adults affected in Niagara County, higher than national and state levels. In addition, the prevalence of gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) in New York and Niagara County continues to increase and remains higher than the national average.
Diabetes increases risk for many serious health problems, affecting heart, liver, kidneys, eyes, ears, skin, digestive system, muscles and nervous system and reproductive systems. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in individuals suffering from diabetes. The Diabetes Coalition advises individuals to know their risk factors by taking the ADA risk test at any of the event screening sites or online by clicking onhttp://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/diabetes-risk-test/?loc=DropDownDB-RiskTest.
When armed with the knowledge of risks, healthy eating and living practices and early screening, community members can help prevent or control diabetes and live longer, healthier and more active lives.
"The opportunities to have all of our hospitals in Niagara County working together to educate and inform our communities is critical to fighting the epidemic of diabetes in Niagara County," said Daniel Stapleton, Niagara County public health director.