Nearly 200,000 Iowans have diabetes, the state’s fifth leading cause of death and a disease that, in many cases, is preventable. As part of National Diabetes Month, Iowans are urged to learn about the disease and how they can avoid it.

Rosemary Watchorn is the diabetes educator at Hamilton Hospital in Webster City. Watchorn says, "The goal is to raise awareness about diabetes and its serious complications, including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and amputations."

The body of a person with diabetes can’t produce or can’t properly use insulin. Type One, or juvenile diabetes, is not preventable, but Type Two -is- preventable and is often brought on by poor diet and a lack of exercise. Watchorn says our computer-based, TV-loving society is at a growing risk for diabetes.

She says, "If the current lifestyle and current trends continue, if you have a grandchild or child who’s eight years old, so, a child born in 2000, has a one-in-three chance of developing diabetes sometime during his or her lifetime." To learn more, visit the website of the American Diabetes Association .