Newsroom > DHHS News Release


November 25, 2009

Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047 or

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Lincoln – An estimated 104,000 Nebraska adults have diabetes, and over 250,000 are undiagnosed, according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

One out of four Nebraskans is obese, which is a serious concern, said Dr. Joann Schaefer, Chief Medical Officer and the Director of the Division of Public Health.

“Obesity and diabetes go hand in hand. Obesity is often a precursor to diabetes. The greater the incidence of obesity, the higher the rate of diabetes,” Dr. Schaefer said.

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder of the pancreas, which can lead to serious medical complications, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and blindness. The disorder is the 7th leading cause of death.

An individual is considered obese if his or her Body Mass Index score is 30 or above, based on weight and height. To calculate BMI, go to .

The U.S. medical cost of diabetes was $116 billion in 2007. In Nebraska, the medical and indirect costs of diabetes are over $750 million a year.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month.

SIDEBAR: People with diabetes should have both their seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccinations. They are more at risk for severe disease and complications, such as hospitalizations and death.

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NOTE: For more information on diabetes and preventing the disease, please visit .

To learn more about CDC's efforts in the fight against obesity or for more information about nutrition, physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight, visit .