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WHEREAS, an estimated 30.3 million Americans have diabetes, which is 9.4% of the U.S. population, and another 84.1 million Americans have pre-diabetes and are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes; and
WHEREAS, an estimated 7.2 million Americans who have diabetes, which is 23.8% of people with diabetes, do not know they have the disease and may experience damage to the heart, eyes, kidneys and limbs without producing any symptoms; and
WHEREAS, type 1 diabetes affects 5% of all adults and is characterized as an insulin deficiency, occurring when the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas; and
WHEREAS, diet and lifestyle habits do not cause type 1 diabetes; and
WHEREAS, type 2 diabetes, the most common form, is characterized by a rising blood glucose (sugar) level in the body, resulting in the body’s misuse of insulin; and
WHEREAS, the seriousness of diabetes is often underestimated because diabetes is rarely listed as a cause of death, but rather the complications caused by diabetes are listed instead; and
WHEREAS, diabetes can lead to increased risk for heart attack or stroke, kidney failure, amputations, and advanced diabetic retinopathy, greatly increasing the risk of severe vision loss, as well as nerve damage; and
WHEREAS, a healthy lifestyle is important for individuals with diabetes and includes exercising, not smoking, and maintaining a balanced diet and proper insulin levels; and
WHEREAS, Diabetes Awareness Month is an opportunity to increase awareness of risk factors and symptoms of diabetes and the importance of a healthy lifestyle in diabetes prevention and care;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize November 2018 as DIABETES AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.