Skip to Main Content


November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

Date: 11/16/18

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in Ohio and the United States.1

  • An estimated 30.3 million people have diabetes (9.4% of the U.S. population), and an estimated 7.2 million Americans do not know they have diabetes or have not reported it.2
  • What’s true nationally is also true in Ohio, with 9.5% of the population reported as diabetic in 2015.3
  • Plus, 7.5% of Ohio adults were told by a healthcare provider that they have prediabetes, which means their blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. 
  • Most people with prediabetes do not know it—it’s estimated that 35% of Ohioans are prediabetic, and 15-30% of them could develop type 2 diabetes within five years.4

Buckeye Health Plan is an active partner in helping our communities understand this life-altering disease, and hopefully preventing its spread.

Buckeye is a managed care plan that coordinates healthcare services for more than 350,000 Ohioans through Medicaid, Medicare and the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Subject Matter Expert Available: A Buckeye medical professional is available to review diabetes information for your story.

What is Diabetes?

  • Diabetes occurs when the pancreas can no longer make enough insulin to control blood sugar.
  • While this can happen for a number of reasons, it’s most commonly from an autoimmune response (type 1), or an inability of cells to respond to insulin correctly (type 2).
  • Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90-95% of cases.4 And, according to the American Diabetes Association, somebody in this country is diagnosed with diabetes every 23 seconds.
  • The risk of developing type 2 diabetes is associated with both genetic and lifestyle factors including obesity, poor diet and a lack of physical activity.
  • According to the Mayo Clinic, complications include cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, blindness, amputation, hearing problems, increased risk for dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease and depression.5
  • Diabetes kills more Americans every year than AIDS and breast cancer combined.6

Who’s most at risk?

  • According to CDC statistics, the prevalence of diabetes increases as individuals age.1
  • Ohio adults with lower household incomes and lower educational attainment had a higher prevalence of diabetes in 2012 compared with those having higher incomes and more education. 1
  • Black Ohioans were found more likely to die due to complications from diabetes in 2012 than their white peers (43.4 per 100,000 versus 24.3 per 100,000, respectively). 1
  • Diabetes is on the rise in Ohio—the prevalence of adult diabetes rose from 7.3% in 2005 to 9.5% in 2015, the most current reported year by the CDC.7
  • Among the 50 states and District of Columbia, Ohio had the sixth highest age-adjusted diabetes death rate in 2012.1

The Cost of Diabetes

  • The American Diabetes Association released new research in March 2018 estimating the total costs of diagnosed diabetes have risen 26% in the last five year ($327 billion in 2017 from $245 billion in 2012).8
  • People with diagnosed diabetes have medical expenses that are approximately 2.3 times higher than those without diabetes.7
  • Indirect costs of diabetes, including absenteeism and reduced productivity while at work, account for $30.2 billion dollars each year.7
  • In Ohio in 2017 alone, $9 billion was spent on direct medical expenses for diagnosed diabetes patients and another $3.3 billion was spent on indirect costs from lost productivity due to diabetes.7

Detecting Diabetes

  • Because many diabetes symptoms may not seem serious, it’s important to watch for potential signals that you’re at risk. Plus, some individuals with type 2 diabetes have symptoms so mild that they go unnoticed. According to the Ohio Department of Health, the following are the most common symptoms of diabetes:
    • Increased thirst
    • Frequent urination
    • Increased hunger
    • Weight loss
    • Fatigue
    • Blurry Vision
    • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
    • Tingling, pain or numbness in the hands/feet

Preventing Diabetes

  • Diabetes is a condition related to blood sugar, but eating sugar doesn’t cause diabetes. However, those who are overweight can develop resistance to sugar and may need to cut down on the amount of refined sugars consumed.
  • Diabetes is especially concerning for pregnant women. Heart defects in babies have been tied to diabetes, so women who have diabetes or are at risk for diabetes need to work with their doctor to keep blood sugar levels in normal ranges.9
  • Diabetes risk can be reduced by:
    • Eating a healthy, balanced diet
    • Exercising
    • Losing weight—losing just 7 percent of body weight can significantly reduce risk of diabetes
    • Limiting or avoiding tobacco and alcohol 
    • Reducing stress

Buckeye’s Care Management Program for Diabetes

  • Buckeye’s care management program helps members with diabetes by:
  • Providing frequent check-ins with members to be sure they are sticking to their medical plans
  • Providing guidance around doctor appointments and directions for care
  • Arranging Buckeye transportation to and from doctor appointments if needed
  • Becoming a Buckeye member’s support team and cheerleader, helping every member achieve his or her health goals


  1. Ohio Department of Health, The Impact of Chronic Disease in Ohio: 2015
  2. CDC, National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes Report Card 2017. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2018
  4. American Diabetes Association
  5. Mayo Clinic
  6. American Diabetes Association, Fast Facts
  7. CDC State Report
  8. American Diabetes Association, The Cost of Diabetes
  9. Stanford University School of Medicine Report