Diabetes Wellness Expo On November 19 Inspires Delawareans With Diabetes to Live Healthier Lifestyles

DOVER – The public, particularly people living with diabetes, are encouraged to attend the free Diabetes Wellness Expo on Tuesday, November 19, 2019, at the Dover Downs Conference Center, located at 1131 N. DuPont Highway in Dover. The Delaware Diabetes Coalition (DDC), the Division of Public Health (DPH), and other partners will showcase speakers and more than 50 exhibitors and screeners from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The 18th annual event brings together health care facilities, diabetes-related organizations, and businesses to promote self-management and healthier lifestyles for people with diabetes and pre-diabetes. The Diabetes Wellness Expo will feature educational presentations on preventing type 2 diabetes, medication adherence, depression, innovative and evolving advancements in technology and design, foot care, and the benefits of healthy eating and exercise. Blood sugar, blood pressure, eye exams, other screenings, and free flu shots are available. A complimentary box lunch including a gourmet sandwich, fruit, and beverage will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. The Bureau of Oral Health and Dental Services will also be offering dental screenings on site at the expo to anyone attending the event, both adults and children, along with referrals and dental health education as it relates specifically to the diabetic patient.

Sponsors include DPH’s Diabetes and Heart Disease Prevention and Control Program, Bayhealth, Beebe Healthcare, ChristianaCare, and Valeritas.

More than 91,000 Delawareans have diabetes and an additional 78,000 people have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, adult blindness, lower-limb amputations, heart disease and stroke in the United States. The disease requires extensive medical monitoring and costly, lifelong treatment. However, healthier lifestyle choices, self-management techniques and taking medications as prescribed can manage and prevent health impacts, allowing many to enjoy a higher quality of life.

Overweight and obesity are major contributing factors for developing diabetes. According to the 2018 Delaware Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (BRFS), 21.9% of Delaware adults who report being obese have been diagnosed with diabetes, compared with 5% of adults who report normal weights. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released in 2017, more than 100 million adults are now living with diabetes or prediabetes in the United States. Of those, 84.1 million have pre-diabetes. People with pre-diabetes are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, but they can significantly reduce that risk by increasing physical activity and eating a healthier diet.

Delawareans can do a better job of following diabetes recommendations. According to the 2018 BRFS:

• 59 percent say they check their blood glucose (sugar) levels one or more times per day. The recommended frequency is three times a day for most adults with diabetes.
• 30.2 percent see their doctor four or more times a year. An additional 35 percent say they see their doctor two or three times a year.
• 91.4 percent say they have been checked by a doctor for Hemoglobin A1-C one or more times in the past year.
• 76 percent of people with diabetes had an eye exam in which their pupils were dilated during the past year.
• 16.8 percent of people with diabetes said they have been told by a doctor that diabetes has affected their eyes, or they have retinopathy.
• 76.1 percent said a health professional had checked their feet for sores or irritations one or more times in the past year.
• Half (49.2 percent) of all adults diagnosed with diabetes say they have taken a course or class in how to manage diabetes.

For more information about the Diabetes Wellness Expo, visit https://www.dediabetescoalition.org/ or call the DDC at 302-519-6767.
For more information about how to manage and prevent diabetes, visit http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/dpc/diabetes.html. For programs and resources, or call the DPH’s Diabetes and Heart Disease Prevention and Control Program at 302-744-1020.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com
The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.