Simpson to Lead Interim Study into Type 2 Diabetes

Senator Frank Simpson wants to know if the Legislature can do more to help educate the public about Type 2 diabetes. He’s holding an interim study on the matter October 10th.

According to Simpson, Oklahoma ranks 10th in the nation for the percentage of adults diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. His main concern is the rising number of younger Oklahomans who have Type 2 diabetes.

“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.  “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 disturbing trends.”

Simpson believes if more Oklahomans with Type 2 diabetes were in self-management programs, the impact to state healthcare costs could be reduced. He also feels prevention programs would reduce the economic burden as well.

However, there are barriers for people to get effective treatment in Oklahoma.

“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.”

Simpson’s interim study is set for 9:00 a.m. on October 10 in Room 535 at the Oklahoma Capitol.

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