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Lipman Promotes Diabetes Awareness Month at State’s Capital

Pennsylvania Senate Resolution 484 recognizes November 2018 as National Diabetes Month in the Keystone State

Penn Nursing’s Terri Lipman, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, the Miriam Stirl Endowed Term Professor of Nutrition, Professor of Nursing of Children, and the Assistant Dean for Community Engagement, was at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg on November 13th to help Senator Pat Browne and Representative Ryan Mackenzie promote diabetes awareness. She discussed the importance of early diagnosis of type 1 diabetes and the rising incidence in children under the age of five.

Type 1 diabetes, previously called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus or juvenile-onset diabetes, is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. It is estimated that only five percent of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.

Senate Resolution 484 is not merely about diabetes awareness- it is about saving lives. The delayed diagnosis of type 1 diabetes can result in a serious condition called diabetic ketoacidosis - the number one cause of death at the time of diagnosis,” said Lipman.

Lipman developed and maintains the Philadelphia Pediatric Diabetes Registry, the only such registry that has been ongoing for 30 years.  “Our registry has demonstrated a steady increase in the incidence of type 1 diabetes in all racial/ ethnic groups and age groups over the course of the registry.  The most marked increase has been in children under the age of 5,”said Lipman.  “There has been a doubling of the incidence in that population.  These data are crucial because children under the age of five are the population most at risk.  They have the highest rate of morbidity and mortality because of the delayed diagnosis of diabetes.”

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects an estimated 30.3 million adults and 200,000 children in the US. Approximately 1.5 million in Pennsylvania people live with diabetes and an estimated 325,000 Pennsylvanians are undiagnosed. In addition, 3.5 million people in Pennsylvania have pre-diabetes with blood glucose levels higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Every year an estimated 63,000 individuals are diagnosed in Pennsylvania with diabetes, including a dramatic increase in the incidence of type 1 diabetes. Diabetes is the seventh-leading cause in death in Pennsylvania.