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November Is National Diabetes Awareness Month

Nashville, November 2, 2007

Tennessee ranks first in the nation for numbers of adults with diabetes who monitor their blood glucose levels daily, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report issued today includes findings of a nationwide study on self-monitoring of blood glucose among adults with diabetes. The study found significant increases in daily monitoring from 1997 to 2006, with an average increase of 22 percent. In Tennessee, 78.2 percent of adults with diabetes reported monitoring their blood glucose daily in 2006, a 25.8 percent increase from 1997.

“This study shows more Tennesseans are taking personal responsibility for their health, and I am encouraged by these findings,” said Governor Phil Bredesen. “We have worked through Project Diabetes and the Get Fit Tennessee initiative to target diabetes in our state, and this report indicates our efforts to educate our citizens about this disease are having a positive impact that is improving their health.”

Project Diabetes is an innovative public health initiative launched by Governor Bredesen to help reduce the incidence of Type 2 diabetes in Tennessee.  Earlier this year, the first series of Project Diabetes planning grants were issued to fund a variety of innovative education, treatment and prevention initiatives designed to reduce the burden of diabetes in Tennessee. Along with Project Diabetes, Governor Bredesen developed the GetFitTN campaign to address the epidemic of Type 2 diabetes in Tennessee and the risk factors that lead to the disease, such as obesity.

“It is so important that people take charge of their health and seek consistent care for chronic conditions such as diabetes,” said Health Commissioner Susan R. Cooper, MSN, RN. “Our efforts to expand primary care services across Tennessee and to educate and empower our citizens through the Get Fit and Project Diabetes initiatives and our Diabetes Control program are giving our citizens vital tools for managing and preventing this disease.”

Blood glucose is the main sugar that the body makes from food. Blood glucose control is critical for managing diabetes and preventing complications related to diabetes, such as heart disease, foot and leg amputation and eye disease which can lead to blindness.

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. In Tennessee, there are approximately 530,000 children and adults living with diabetes. Simple lifestyle changes, such as moderate weight loss and increased physical activity, can prevent or delay onset of Type 2 diabetes, and effective interventions are available to reduce complications from diabetes.

To view the full MMWR report, visit

To learn more about Project Diabetes, call 615-253-8729 or send an e-mail to

For more information on the Get Fit Tennessee initiative, visit the Web site at