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“Diabetes Epidemic” examined on KET’s Connections with Renee Shaw


“Diabetes Epidemic” examined on KET’s Connections with Renee Shaw

For Release: 03/02/15 3:46 PM

Roughly one out of every 11 Americans, more than 29 million people in the U.S., have diabetes – and one out of four of those aren’t even aware they have the disease, says the Centers for Disease Control.

In the midst of what can only be described as a health epidemic, KET’s Connections with Renee Shaw investigates the root causes of the high number of diabetes cases in the U.S. – and what steps can be taken to prevent even more – with guests Gilbert Friedell, MD, and J. Isaac Joyner, MPH, authors of The Great Diabetes Epidemic: A Manifesto for Control and Prevention. The episode airs Friday, March 27 at 5/4 pm on KET2 and Sunday, March 29 at 1:30/12:30 pm on KET.

Friedell and Joyner talk with Shaw about common misconceptions and barriers to treatment – including the fact that many people simply do not realize they have diabetes or its precursor, pre-diabetes. Others may, wrongly, view diabetes as a “trivial” health issue or be hesitant to seek health care interventions, feeling that the disease is in some way “their own fault.”

Friedell and Joyner discuss the many, significant health ramifications of the disease, including complications such as blindness, amputations and renal failure. In Kentucky alone, for example, there are 72,000 diabetes-related cases of blindness and visual impairment diagnosed each year – roughly 200 per day.

The pair hope that Kentuckians can take their book’s message to heart: diabetes is a serious, but preventable disease, if proper early interventions are implemented through a community-based, public health approach.

Connections with Renee Shaw is a KET production, produced by Renee Shaw.

KET is Kentucky’s largest classroom, serving more than one million people each week via television, online and mobile. Learn more about Kentucky’s preeminent public media organization on Twitter @KET and and at


Todd Piccirilli
Senior Director, Marketing and Communications