American Diabetes Month observed during November

The number of people around the world affected by diabetes is increasing rapidly and one in three children born in the U.S. are expected to develop diabetes in their lifetime. In order to draw attention to these startling numbers, November is recognized by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) as American Diabetes Month.

The monthly observance as well as World Diabetes Day (www.worlddiabetesday.org), which is recognized each year on Nov. 14, were created in response to concerns about the escalating threat of diabetes worldwide. The day is celebrated by lighting iconic buildings across the globe blue to symbolize the world uniting for diabetes. Since 2007, 1,000 monuments and buildings in more than 80 countries have been illuminated in blue for diabetes. To raise awareness of the problem of diabetes in Pennsylvania, several notable buildings across the state, including the Bryce Jordan Center at University Park, Penn State Hershey Medical Center’s signature crescent and the state Capitol in Harrisburg have been lit blue, the color chosen to represent diabetes awareness.

The campaign calls on all those responsible for diabetes care to partner with patients and work to improve outcomes. For people with diabetes, this is a message about empowerment through education and learning how to take care of yourself to avoid complications from diabetes. For governments, it is a call to implement effective strategies and policies for the prevention and management of diabetes to safeguard the health of citizens living with and at risk of diabetes. For health care professionals, it is a call to improve knowledge so that evidence-based recommendations are put into practice. For the general public, it is a call to understand the serious impact of diabetes and know, where possible, how to avoid or delay diabetes and its complications.

In addition, as the ADA designates November as American Diabetes Month they strive to recognize the month as a time to spotlight a serious disease that leads to potentially life-threatening complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and amputation.

More information on diabetes is available at the Penn State Hershey Diabetes Institute website: www.pennstatehershey.org/diabetesandobesity. It includes information on diabetes-related research and details on how to obtain a free copy of the "Penn State Diabetes Playbook." The book is an easy way to help those with diabetes keep track of their care. Not only does it offer tips on how to manage diabetes from people who treat diabetes, it also has first-hand accounts from people who live with diabetes every day.

Health care professionals can learn more about current initiatives to increase evidence-based diabetes care at www.paspread.com.

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Last Updated November 21, 2012