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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 4, 2010

March 23 is Diabetes Alert Day in South Carolina

COLUMBIA -- With one of the highest percentages of the population with diabetes, South Carolinians are being encouraged to learn more about how to prevent or manage the disease, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control reported today.

“Our state ranks 10th in the percentage of population with diabetes,” said Rhonda Hill, director of DHEC’s Division of Diabetes Prevention and Control. “Approximately one in eight African-Americans in the state has diabetes. Many people may not be aware they have the disease. Diabetes, if not controlled, can lead to complications such as blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and amputations.”

Hill said diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in South Carolina and the risk of diabetes increases with age. Residents can find out their blood glucose level and take some simple and easy steps to reduce their risk of diabetes.

“Diabetes can either be prevented or delayed by eating a healthy diet, being physically active, not smoking, and losing a modest amount of weight,” she said. “You do not have to knock yourself out to prevent diabetes. It is important to realize that people that do have diabetes can lead long, healthy lives when their diabetes is properly managed.”

For more information about diabetes, go to DHEC’s Division of Diabetes Prevention and Control’s Web page at: http://www.scdhec.gov/diabetes .

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For more information:
Thom Berry - (803) 898-3885
E-mail - berrytw@dhec.sc.gov
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