Oklahoma Leads New Cases of Diabetes

The news stories seem to be running together these days on the latest findings on the prevalence of diabetes in America. We have reported on the latest in diabetes management and how this growing epidemic will affect not only our country, but specifically our state in the very near term. We know that by 2050, 1 in 3 adults will have type 2 diabetes. We now know that proportion will be even higher in Oklahoma. The work of endocrinologists like Oklahoma Heart Institute’s Dr. Cristin Bruns is critical in treating patients today and preparing for patients of tomorrow. Worldwide, it is estimated 370 million people have diabetes, half of which are undiagnosed.

“Unfortunately, Oklahoma is the leading state in new cases of diabetes (mainly type 2) with rates more than tripling in the last 15 years,” says Dr. Bruns. “This may be in part due to better detection of the disorder due to improved screening, particularly among high risk populations.”

Physicians and researchers are clear when it comes to identifying the main causes of diabetes in our culture. “Increasing rates of obesity, poor nutrition and sedentary lifestyles are the major contributing factors to the development of type 2 diabetes,” Dr. Bruns states. However, Dr. Bruns is quick to point out type 2 diabetes is preventable and can be delayed through lifestyle modifications.

The American Heart Association outlines healthy living tips for those living with Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. Taking these steps to prevent or reverse diabetes in America can have a dramatic impact on our overall health.

Type 2 diabetes is not just an illness requiring insulin shots and passing on the chocolate cake. 90 percent of people with diabetes will have a vascular event of some kind in their lifetime, including the loss of a limb, stroke or heart attack. More than two-thirds of people with diabetes will die from cardiovascular disease. 

Endocrinologists work with patients to determine the proper combination of lifestyle modifications and medication therapy to manage the illness, while reducing the patient’s risk of heart disease, stroke and other complications from diabetes.

“Patient education and participation are crucial in managing diabetes, as are regular check-ups.” Says Dr. Bruns.

Again, the good news is type 2 diabetes is treatable and preventable. Today there are 11 classes of medications available for patients and in the future, new medications on the horizon offer effective and simplified options. If you have any questions about your diabetes, consult with your physician.