Rates continue to expand
Each week seems to bring more bad news about Oklahoma's diabetes rate. A report last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed increased diagnoses of diabetes nationwide. Oklahoma's rate leapt to 10 percent, its biggest jump in 15 years.
The Harold Hamm Diabetes Center cited the data while urging Oklahomans to do whatever they can today to prevent a diabetes diagnosis in the future.
“Oklahoma is at the center of the growing diabetes epidemic,” Dr. Timothy Lyons, director of Research and Scientific Programs at the diabetes center, said in a news release. “Diabetes costs our state more than $3 billion in health care expenditures, and the economic toll is mounting.”
As many as 552 million people may have diabetes by the year 2030, sending costs climbing to $595 billion, according to International Diabetes Federation predictions mentioned in the release.
“Just as alarming is the rapid growth of Type 2 diabetes in children,” Dr. Kenneth Copeland, director of Children's Programs at the diabetes center, said in the release. “Because this is an aggressive disease in children, we need to be equally aggressive in both treatment and prevention. ... The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in three children born in the year 2000 will develop Type 2 diabetes later in life.”
About 304,500 adult Oklahomans have been diagnosed with diabetes, the release states. An estimated 124,000 more have it but don't know it. Oklahoma is in the top four in the nation for diabetes rate; the disease is the fourth leading cause of death here.
A healthy lifestyle can help prevent the disease. Maintain a healthy weight, eat nutritious foods and exercise regularly.
“The number of people with diabetes in Oklahoma continues to rise,” Lyons said in the release. “We are moving in the wrong direction, and the consequences are dire. If we do not turn this around, we will see more people losing limbs, vision, kidney function and even their lives to this disease.”
Brain health discussion in Edmond
Dr. Germaine Odenheimer, a geriatric neurologist, will discuss art and the aging brain at 6 p.m. Thursday at Touchmark at Coffee Creek, 2801 Shortgrass Rd., Edmond. The free talk will consider questions such as: How does art help us heal? How does art reflect a damaged brain? Odenheimer is a board-certified neurologist at the Donald W. Reynolds Department of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.
For more information, call Maggie Darcey at Touchmark, 340-1975.
Monitoring heart rate
If you've ever used a heart rate monitor, you know how unwieldy and uncomfortable they can be, especially for larger folks. Generally monitors consist of a wristwatchlike device and a strap that wraps all the way around the chest. Often the monitors provide only periodic heart rate measurement.
Impact Sports Technologies has taken a big step forward with its new ePulse2, billed in a news release as “the world's first strapless, armband continuous heart rate monitor, pedometer and calorimeter.”
“Until now,” the release continues, “dynamic heart rate monitors required an uncomfortable chest strap and special watch practically restricting their use to serious athletes. ePulse2 is the first device to make this technology practical and convenient for anyone who exercises or is interested in tracking calories burned or monitoring heart rate or step counting.”
The device allows you to see your heart rate in real time on a full color display.
Survey detects fear of disease
New survey results from the Marist Institute for Public Opinion indicate that Americans fear Alzheimer's disease “more than any other major life-threatening disease, including cancer, stroke, heart disease and diabetes,” according to a Home Instead Senior Care news release. More than 1,200 people participated in the survey.
It “confirmed what I frequently hear from family caregivers — people feel unprepared to care for a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer's,” David Loftis, owner of the Oklahoma City Home Instead office, said in the release. “The need for support and education for these families is critical.”
The survey also indicates:
• 63 percent of respondents have had a “personal experience” with an Alzheimer's patient or someone with memory loss.
• 61 percent feel unqualified to care for a loved one with the disease.
• 68 percent of respondents said that if they were diagnosed with Alzheimer's, they would be most afraid of not being able to take care of themselves and being a burden on others. Thirty-two percent said they would most fear losing memories of their lives and loved ones.
• 44 percent of respondents said Alzheimer's is the disease they fear most; 33 percent said they most fear cancer.
• 56 percent of adult respondents over 65 fear Alzheimer's the most.
Home Instead, which provides home care services for senior adults, is offering free in-person training to families caring for loved ones with Alzheimer's. For a schedule of programs, go to www.helpforalzheimersfamilies.com.
Compiled by Ken Raymond, Staff Writer