KET to air ‘Undiagnosed: The Diabetes Epidemic’ followed by a panel discussion about the disease on Monday, Feb. 24

Part of an infographic from a 2019 state report.

Nearly half of Kentucky adults have diabetes or pre-diabetes — and many of them don’t know they have it.

To shine a light on this issue, Kentucky Educational Television is airing “Undiagnosed: The Diabetes Epidemic,” a documentary that looks at the rising rates of diabetes and pre-diabetes in Kentucky, with a focus on what Kentuckians across the state are doing to reduce those rates.

More than one in eight Kentucky adults have been diagnosed with diabetes, according to the 2017 Kentucky Behavioral Risk Factor Survey. And 1.2 million, or 35.5 percent of the adult population, has pre-diabetes, a condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.

The 30-minute documentary will air Monday, Feb. 24 at 9 p.m., followed by a town-hall discussion with a panel of health and community officials, hosted by Dr. Wayne Tuckson of KET’s “Kentucky Health.”

Panelist include Dr. Connie White, deputy commissioner for clinical services with the state Department for Public Health; Dr. Fred Williams, a Louisville endocrinologist and a past president of the Kentucky Medical Association; Rev. Donald K. Gillett II, senior pastor at East Second Street Christian Church and the executive director of the Kentucky Council of Churches; and Richard Heine, co-facilitator with the Kentucky County Diabetes Coalition. 

The panel hits on a wide range of topics, including the importance of early screenings and interventions, the rise in diabetes rates among young people, the importance of communities to address this issue, and stigma about diabetes.

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