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Diabetes burdens economy with billions in costs each year

Posted On Wed, November 17, 2010

The Illinois Department of Public Health says the number of people with diabetes has been increasing over the years. Between 1998 and 2008, the number of people afflicted with the condition increased by 2 percent, putting the number of people in the state with the ailment 2.3 percent higher than the national average.

The state's director of public health, Dr. Damon Arnold, is calling awareness to the problem. Earlier this month, he urged residents to walk and eat fruits and vegetables to mark World Diabetes Day.

"By improving lifestyle choices on health eating and physical activity, we can help reduce the health and economic burden of diabetes,” says Arnold.

The economy was burdened $174 billion in 2007 from diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Costs can hurt patients as well through higher life insurance premiums.

It's particularly important for those who are at an increased likelihood of developing the condition to make sure they are taking steps to be healthy. The CDC says losing weight has been shown to reduce one's chances of being diagnosed with the disease.

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