Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: October 3, 2017
Sen. Frank Simpson
announces Interim Study on Type 2 Diabetes in Oklahoma
More than 14 percent of Oklahomans suffer from
Type 2 diabetes with 52 people diagnosed each day. One in four Oklahomans
don’t realize they have the disease and it’s estimated
that over one million more Oklahomans are prediabetic and most are
unaware of it.
Simpson will hold an interim study on Tuesday, October 10th
at the state Capitol to find ways to better educate the public about
this preventable disease as well as decrease the number of Oklahomans
suffering from the disease.
Oklahoma ranks 10th in the nation for the percentage of adults diagnosed
with Type 2 diabetes but having lost a granddaughter to Type 1 diabetes,
Simpson is extremely concerned about the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes
among younger Oklahomans.
“Type 2 diabetes was once a disease limited to seniors but
we now see more and more youth and children being diagnosed with
Type 2. This is a very disturbing trend. Oklahoma is 4th in the
nation in high school obesity, which is one of the major contributors
to Type 2 diabetes,” said Simpson, R-Springer. “It’s
estimated that in our state, more than 5,000 individuals under the
age of 18 will be diagnosed each year with Type 2. At this rate,
one in two young people will develop Type 2 in their lifetime. We
must fight to protect them by figuring out a way to reverse these
Since 1995, the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes has increased 227
percent in the state creating a tremendous health burden not only
for individuals but the state overall. Type 2 diabetes has a total
economic impact on Oklahoma of $3.7 billion annually including medical
treatment, hospital stays, lost time from work, etc. There are three
amputations per day as a result of diabetes and 24,000 Oklahomans
suffer with diabetes-related blindness. One in three patients will
have chronic kidney disease and two-thirds of Type 2 diabetics will
die of stroke or heart attack.
Contributing factors of the disease include weight, activity level,
eating habits, smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
These factors when managed properly can control Type 2 diabetes
or prevent it from developing.
Simpson explained that diabetes self-management programs are effective
in controlling the disease but unfortunately are only utilized by
four percent of Oklahoma diabetics. He pointed out that if participation
was increased to 15 percent, state healthcare costs could be reduced
by as much as $3.4 million annually.
Prevention programs are also key to improving health outcomes having
been proven to be twice as effective as medication in reducing the
conversion to Type 2 diabetes. Such prevention programs are currently
utilized by less than one percent of diabetics in the state. It’s
estimated that if Type 2 diabetes can be prevented in just 150 Oklahomans,
the state could save $12.4 million over ten years.
Simpson said that Oklahoma face many barriers to these programs
including lack of physician referrals for patients, lack of convenient
locations and reimbursement.
“We must remove barriers to treatment and provide better access
to prevention and treatment to stem the tide of Type 2 diabetes
in our state,” said Simpson. “The Oklahoma tribes are
doing great things and are a model in the treatment and prevention
of this disease among their members. Oklahoma must do the same for
all our citizens.”
The public meeting will be held from 9:00 a.m. to noon in Room 419C
at the state Capitol. The public is welcome to attend or watch the
meeting live on the Senate website at www.oksenate.gov.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Simpson: (405) 521-5607