November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and Wyoming’s percentage of adults with diabetes continues to cause concern.
Joe Grandpre is the Chronic Diseases Epidemiologist at the Wyoming Department of Health. Grandpre says higher rates of diabetes in Wyoming can be attributed to the state’s rising rates of obesity, which is the leading cause of Type 2 Diabetes. He says he is also seeing more people being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes at younger ages, and that will cost patients more.
"Insulin isn’t cheap, and needles aren’t cheap, and test strips aren’t cheap. And a person that has diabetes who gets diagnosed in their 20s is going to live with this for the next 60 years. They’re going to have to buy that stuff every single week, every month," says Grandpre.
According to Wyoming hospital discharge data, Wyoming’s inpatient cost of diabetes diagnoses reached more than $2 billion in 2013. Grandpre says exercising more and eating more fruits and vegetables in order to lose weight is the best way to prevent Type 2 Diabetes.
Wyoming’s percentage of adults with diabetes, around 9%, is still less than the national average of 12.3%.