MUSC observes World Diabetes Day 2021

Natalie Wilson
November 14, 2021
World Diabetes Day

November 14 marks #World DiabetesDay 2021, dedicated to raising awareness of diabetes worldwide. This year, we recognize the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin, which marked one of the most important breakthroughs in the history of modern medicine and treatment for people with diabetes. As part of this year’s observance at MUSC, the north tower of the Charleston hospital will be illuminated in blue light at sunset. 

The theme for this year's World Diabetes Day is: “access to diabetes care: if not now, when?”  While there have been major advances in diabetes care in the last century, rates of diabetes continue to rise globally and cause lasting health impacts.

Its complications impose immense suffering, reducing both quality and length of life. Diabetes costs the nation approximately $327 billion, of which $237 billion are direct medical costs and $90 billion are the result of lost productivity. South Carolina is disproportionately affected - we rank 7th highest in the nation in diabetes prevalence, with some 28,000 new cases diagnosed each year: one every 18 minutes. The estimated cost of care for people in South Carolina with diabetes is $5.89 billion, equivalent to $11,206 every minute of every day. Many of these costs result from the complications of diabetes, including heart disease, stroke, amputation, end-stage kidney disease, blindness and death which could now be prevented if discovered and addressed in time.

What's MUSC Doing About It?

For over 30 years, MUSC’s Divisions of Endocrinology and Pediatric Endocrinology have been at the forefront of a global effort to conduct research and develop new therapies to address this epidemic to improve the lives of people with diabetes.

  • To address the overwhelming need for diabetes care in our state, MUSC recently established a telemedicine clinic in Murrells Inlet, S.C.
  • To improve the care of pregnant women and pregnancy outcomes, MUSC launched a first-of-its-kind joint ob-gyn/ endocrinology clinic in South Carolina. The Management of Maternal (MOMs) Diabetes Program at MUSC Women’s Health provides comprehensive care for moms who have diabetes, including those who develop diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes). Early, intensive management of diabetes during pregnancy can help decrease the risk of complications and birth defects.
  • Under the umbrella of the Diabetes Initiative of South Carolina, the Diabetes Center of Excellence provides oversight for developing professional education programs for health care workers in South Carolina.

Learn more about World Diabetes Day.