Penn State Hershey Diabetes Institute
Community Outreach Overview
Diabetes has staggering public health implications, both in terms of health consequences and economic costs. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, amputations, cardiovascular disease and stroke. There are 23.6 million children and adults in the United States, or 7.8% of the population, who have diabetes. Nearly 10% of adult residents of Pennsylvania report that they have been told that they have diabetes. Pennsylvania is sixth in the nation in terms of people with diabetes and pre-diabetes. The dollar costs of diabetes are also incredible. Diabetes and related complications account for one of every seven healthcare dollars spent.
Related to diabetes is obesity, a growing problem throughout the United States and particularly in Pennsylvania. A survey of Pennsylvanians in 2007 showed that nearly two-thirds of all adults surveyed reported that they were either overweight or obese. Obesity may be defined as being 20% or more over your healthy body weight, or more precisely a having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 and above (A BMI of 30 is about 30 pounds overweight.). Obesity is related to diabetes, as many individuals struggling with weight management issues also are affected with diabetes or pre-diabetes (insulin insufficiency). Moreover, weight loss can be associated with substantial improvements in a person’s diabetes and overall well-being.
The Penn State Hershey Diabetes Institute (PSHDI) is committed to improving health through world-class patient care, research and education to prevent or successfully manage diabetes, obesity and related disorders. The purpose of the Community Outreach portion of the PSHDI website is to provide general information about and community resources for the treatment of diabetes and obesity.
Penn State also appreciates the expertise that people living with diabetes and related conditions can provide to clinicians and researchers. Hence, PSHDI has formed two patient advocacy groups. Moreover, PSHDI hopes that you might consider volunteering for research projects on diabetes, obesity and related conditions and that students may consider opportunities to gain research experience at Penn State.
Financial support for PSHDI is provided by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, contributions, and donations garnered through the Annual PSHDI Diabetes Gala.