National Diabetes Month

Type 2 Diabetes is a killer that affects 1 in 10 Americans, 34 million overall, with a prevalence 1.5x higher for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Many people have diabetes, or pre-diabetes and don’t even know it. Uncontrolled, diabetes can impact every aspect of one’s health and is a significant risk factor for heart disease and stroke as it can raise blood cholesterol levels. And while most people understand diabetes on a basic level, the disease that raises blood sugar levels dangerously high, they often don’t understand that there are multiple things that can affect blood sugar, such as stress. Indeed, stress can firmly increase blood sugar levels. It’s not just about how much sugar you consume. It’s National Diabetes Month right now and we are doing our part at Cognitopia to raise awareness.

Here are some fast facts about diabetes, courtesy of the CDC:

  • More than 34 million people in the United States have diabetes, and 1 in 5 of them don’t know they have it.
  • More than 88 million US adults—over a third—have pre-diabetes, and more than 84% of them don’t know they have it.
  • Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States (and may be underreported).
  • Type 2 diabetes accounts for approximately 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes; type 1 diabetes accounts for approximately 5-10%.
  • In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled as the American population has aged and become more overweight or obese.

Diabetes and IDD

Diabetes is more prevalent in people suffering from intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The reasons for this are many, but largely tied to a reduced number of exams, reduced amount of care received and a generally higher stress condition. This per the CDC:

“People with intellectual disabilities (ID) receive fewer diabetes exams and less diabetes care than those without disabilities and the prevalence of diabetes among people with ID is 1.5 times the rate of the general population. Type 2 diabetes is preventable and the disparity for people with ID can be addressed. At Special Olympics, we are working towards inclusive health for all by eliminating these health disparities through our fitness and wellness programming.”

Alicia Bazzano, MD, PhD, MPH Special Olympics Chief Health Officer

Video Courtesy: Commit to Inclusion

Here is an empowering and informative video from Commit to Inclusion that discusses how people with an IDD can take charge of their diabetes condition. Commit to Inclusion is a global campaign to end the exclusion of people with disability from physical activity and all associated areas.

New Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant

Building on a pilot project conducted in collaboration with the Oregon Office on Disability and Health, at Oregon Health Science University (OHSU), Cognitopia recently received an SBIR Phase I grant from the Administration for Community Living’s National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (Award #90BISA0043) to develop a prototype Type 2 Diabetes self-management tool for people with IDD.

If you’d like to learn more about Type 2 diabetes, here is a video put out by McMaster University that gives a good explanation of the disease. We found this video quite helpful in the pilot project referenced above.

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