Legislation Targets the Scourge of Diabetes

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Health Care Authority and the State Department of Health would be directed by Senate Bill 250 to collaborate on development of goals for reducing the incidence of diabetes in Oklahoma.

The measure received overwhelming bipartisan support in both houses of the Legislature. The House of Representatives passed the bill, 67-18, on Thursday, and the Senate approved it, 39-4, on March 5.

The bill was supported by 23 House Democrats. They included Reps. Will Fourkiller of Stilwell, Claudia Griffith of Norman and Mike Shelton of Oklahoma City, all of whom are members of the Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Health; Rep. Jeannie McDaniel of Tulsa, a member of the House Committee on Public Health who also co-authored the measure; and House Democratic Leader Scott Inman of Del City.

The goals suggested in SB 250 would include improvements in health care services and prevention services, better procedures to control complications, and statistics, including the financial impact of diabetes and the number of Oklahomans afflicted with the disease. According to the State Health Department:

  • More than 329,000 Oklahomans 18 and older were diagnosed with diabetes in 2012, according to the state Health Department.
  • Oklahoma ranked ninth in the nation in 2012 for the percentage of the adult population diagnosed with diabetes.
  • The percent of the adult population being diagnosed with diabetes has been growing at a faster rate in Oklahoma than in the nation.
  • Nearly one in every four senior citizens (65 years and older) in Oklahoma has been diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Oklahoma’s Native Americans have been diagnosed more frequently, and die from diabetes at the highest rate of any other race or ethnic group in this state. Diagnosis rates include American Indians, 16.4%; African Americans, 12.3%; Caucasians, 11.6%; multiracial individuals, 9.5%; and Hispanic, 7.6%.
  • Diabetes was the seventh-leading cause of death in the nation in 2010, but in Oklahoma it was the sixth-leading cause of death that year.
  • Hospital admissions with diabetes as a primary diagnosis numbered 7,007 in Oklahoma in 2012.
  • During the past decade, hospital admissions for diabetes increased 21%.
  • Oklahoma adults reported the sixth-highest percentage of obesity – a key risk factor for diabetes – in the nation in 2012. The national average was 28.1%; Oklahoma’s rate was 32.2%.
  • Besides the obese citizens, another 35.6% of Oklahoma’s adults reported they were overweight in 2012.
  • One-fourth of all Oklahoma adults did not participate in any leisure-time physical activity in 2012.
  • Adults with lower socioeconomic status reported higher percentages of obesity and less leisure-time physical activity.
  • Oklahoma ranks sixth in the nation for the percentage of adults who are obese, and eighth in the nation for the percentage of adults who forego physical activity.
  • The number of Oklahoma children aged 10-17 who were deemed overweight or obese in 2011-12, based on their body mass index, was estimated at almost 34%.





Media Director, Democratic Caucus

Oklahoma House of Representatives

(405) 962-7819 office

(405) 245-4411 mobile