Diabetes Prevention and Control


This page has been automatically translated from English. MSDH has not reviewed this translation and is not responsible for any inaccuracies.

Diabetes is a disease with serious health consequences, but it is also controllable and preventable.

In 2016, Mississippi ranked first in the nation for overall diabetes prevalence, with an estimated 308,295 adult Mississippians living with diabetes (over 13.6% of the adult population).

Diabetes accounted for 1,083 deaths in Mississippi in 2016. In addition, many more Mississippians live with the complications of type 2 diabetes, including lower extremity amputations, end stage renal disease, blindness, loss of protective sensation, heart disease and premature death.

Diabetes is preventable. Learn more below about your risk for developing type 2 diabetes and the small steps you can take to delay or prevent the disease and live a longer, healthier life.

About Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is an incurable disease that affects the way the body uses food. Diabetes causes glucose levels in the blood to be too high. Normally, during digestion the body changes sugars, starches, and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Glucose is carried to the body's cells and, with the help of insulin (a hormone), is converted into energy. In healthy people, blood glucose levels are kept within normal ranges by proper insulin function.

People develop type 2 diabetes because the cells in the muscles, liver, and fat do not use insulin properly. As a result, the amount of sugar in the blood increases, while the cells are starved of energy. Over time, high blood sugar damages nerves and blood vessels, leading to complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, nerve problems, gum infections, and amputation.

Diabetes Can Be Prevented

The National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that moderate diet and exercise that results in 5 to 7 percent weight loss can delay and possibly prevent type 2 diabetes.


Pre-diabetes simply means that one is at risk for developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. If your blood sugar level is higher than normal but lower than the diabetes range, then you have pre-diabetes. The good news is you can reduce the risk of getting diabetes and even return to normal blood sugar levels. With modest weight loss and moderate physical activity, you can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes. Learn more »

In this video, people with pre-diabetes talk about how the CDC's group lifestyle change classes helped them learn and keep healthy habits.

The Cost of Diabetes

  • In 2012 alone, the American Diabetes Association estimates the economic burden of diabetes in Mississippi to have exceeded $2.74 billion, or $10,402 per Mississippian with diabetes.
  • 13,892 Mississippi state employees were diagnosed with diabetes in just one year (September 2013 to August 2014). The charges for treating these employees – in state agencies, public schools and higher education, and the library system – amounted to over $28 million. This total reflects only direct charges: hospitalizations, medical care, treatment supplies, etc.
  • In 2013, total charges to the Mississippi Division of Medicaid for diabetes and diabetes-associated complications totaled almost $1 billion ($964,428,604). These charges only account for one payer, Medicaid, and do not reflect further charges to Medicare, private insurance companies, self-payers and other providers.

Managing Diabetes

If you have diabetes, you can take steps to manage it. One of our self-management training programs can provide skills to help keep you as healthy as possible.

MSDH Diabetes Prevention and Control Program

The MSDH Diabetes Prevention and Control Program works to prevent diabetes in the state, and to reduce the lifestyle and other factors that contribute to diabetes. The program creates partnerships for diabetes education, prevention and management. The details are in our state Diabetes Action Plan.


MSDH Diabetes Prevention and Control Program
570 East Woodrow Wilson Drive
Jackson, MS 39216
Phone: 601-206-1559

Last reviewed on Mar 28, 2018

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