Thursday, April 24, 2014

Diabetes Complication Rates Falling, But New Cases on the Rise

(Salt Lake City, UT) – A New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) study shows rates of diabetes complications such as amputations, kidney disease, heart attack and stroke dropped between 1990 and 2010.

“In Utah, we saw similar results when we looked at crude rates of complications,” said Brenda Ralls, PhD, Utah Department of Health epidemiologist. “Utah data show a slight drop in some of the complications mentioned in the study, which is terrific. Unfortunately, Utahns are still eating too much of the wrong foods and getting too little exercise. Those behaviors have nearly doubled our rate of diabetes, from 3.8 percent in 1990 to 7.2 percent in 2012,” Rollins added.

For people to best manage diabetes after being diagnosed, it is critical they work with their health care provider. “Working with a doctor, maintaining a healthy weight, eating nutritious foods, and getting daily physical activity are key,” said Ralls. “Taking medication as prescribed and getting health screenings is also critical in managing the disease and avoiding complications.” According to Utah data, more than 135,000 Utah adults have been diagnosed with diabetes, and about 500 Utahns die every year from the disease and its omplications.

Too prevent diabetes, daily exercise and limiting sugary foods and drinks are key. To learn more about managing the disease, visit See the NEJM study at

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The mission of the Utah Department of Health is to protect the public's health through preventing avoidable illness, injury, disability and premature death, assuring access to affordable, quality health care, and promoting healthy lifestyles.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

UDOH Helps State's Remaining Tobacco Users Find Their Personal “way to quit”

Salt Lake City, April 23, 2014 – Although Utah reports the lowest adult smoking and chewing use in the country (10.2% vs. 19% national average), tobacco use continues to be the number one cause of preventable death and disease and remains a serious public health concern.

To help further reduce tobacco use in Utah, Governor Gary Herbert and Dr. David Patton, Executive Director, Utah Department of Health (UDOH), were joined by dozens of public and private partners on April 23 in the Gold Room at the Utah State Capitol. The group formally launched a new initiative from the UDOH Tobacco Prevention and Control Program called way to quit.

way to quit targets current tobacco users and includes a prevention component aimed at those most at risk for using tobacco in the future. The campaign raises awareness of the health risks of tobacco and nicotine use and offers proven resources and motivation for living a tobacco-free life.

The central element of the campaign is the new website It describes the nature of tobacco addiction and gives detailed information about the variety of free resources the state offers those individuals struggling in this fight.

Serving as the new brand for the state’s tobacco cessation effort, way to quit messaging will blanket the state using TV, radio, and billboards to help educate and motivate Utahns to quit.

“The bottom line,” said UDOH Executive Director Dr. David Patton, “is that quitting is not easy. The average smoker tries to quit 8 to 11 times, each time learning more about  him- or herself, until they ultimately succeed,” Patton emphasized. “It’s critical that our citizens understand they absolutely can become tobacco free. The resources offers are their best chance for success and can make those early quit attempts work,” he added

In conjunction with the statewide release of way to quit media materials, the campaign also launched the Share Your Quit” way to quit is also rolling out a new campaign across radio and billboard called “Share Your Quit.” With this, individuals will be able to proclaim their reason for quitting on I-15 billboards and on radio along the Wasatch Front.

“One of the best ways to quit is to build a support network by telling others you’re quitting,” explained Adam Bramwell, Marketing Manager, UDOH Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. “Share Your Quit invites Utah smokers who are ready to kick the habit, or recent quitters who are holding strong, to proclaim their independence from tobacco in a big way.”

Utilizing Facebook and, the campaign will collect stories from real quitters. Those who share stories have the chance to be featured on billboards or in radio commercials. The personalized ads will help the featured quitter build support with friends, family, and the community, making the quitter more accountable and more likely to succeed.

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The mission of the Utah Department of Health is to protect the public's health through preventing avoidable illness, injury, disability and premature death, assuring access to affordable, quality health care, and promoting healthy lifestyles.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Utah County Discovery a Reminder: There is Help and Hope for Endangered Newborns

(Salt Lake City, UT) – Staff of the Utah Department of Health Newborn Safe Haven program are reminding women that their babies are wanted, even if their mothers can’t care for them.

Safe Haven was launched in 2001 to allow mothers to anonymously drop off their babies at any Utah hospital, no questions asked, and without fear of criminal punishment.

“It’s a sad day for all of us who have worked to educate our community about Safe Haven” said program coordinator Julia Robertson. “But there is hope for the mothers and their babies, so we encourage anyone struggling with a decision to seek help.”

The Safe Haven hotline number is 866-458-0058 and is available night and day.  More information is available at, including details on the law, answers to frequently asked questions, and contact information for hospitals that are open 24/7.

"Child abuse, neglect, and homicide can be prevented,” said Heidi Valdez, Child Abuse Prevention Program Administrator, Utah Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS). “Crisis and respite nurseries, parenting classes, family counseling, and in-home services, are available statewide for all Utahns."

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The mission of the Utah Department of Health is to protect the public's health through preventing avoidable illness, injury, disability and premature death, assuring access to affordable, quality health care, and promoting healthy lifestyles.