Perspective: A WIS editorial on help for SC diabetics

Diabetes is a chronic disease that results from having too little insulin in the bloodstream. It's the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S., and our state has the nation's second highest rate of diagnosed diabetes. About 9% of adults here suffer from diabetes, and it costs this state around $850,000,000 a year in medical expenses.

Diabetes can be treated. Proper nutrition, exercise and medication all can help.

Undiagnosed and untreated, diabetes can lead to heart disease, blindness and kidney failure. In these hard economic times it is harder and harder for many diabetes patients to pay for their medications even if they are working. But help is available.

Welvista is a non-profit organization that helps the uninsured get needed prescription medication. In 2007, Welvista filled more than 20,000 free prescriptions for 3,200 diabetic patients who had no insurance.  To contact Welvista for help, call 1-800-763-0059 or visit on the web.

Education and information -- two of the most important solutions for diabetes control.  That's my perspective.  I'd like to hear from you.