Could You be at Risk? American Diabetes Association "Sounds the Alert" on March 25th - ADA's 20th Annual American Diabetes Alert Day
March 24, 2009
Could you have diabetes? One in five Americans have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, or may even already have diabetes. Because people can live for years without knowing they have diabetes, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is issuing an urgent call-to-action for Americans to learn their risk for type 2 diabetes during the 20th Annual American Diabetes Alert Day. Awareness about diabetes can lead to early detection and treatment, which may help prevent type 2 diabetes or devastating complications associated with diabetes such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and amputation.
On American Diabetes Alert Day, held annually on the fourth Tuesday in March, the ADA encourages people who are overweight, physically inactive, or over the age of 45 years to take the Diabetes Risk Test, which asks seven simple questions about weight, age, lifestyle and family history - all potential risk factors for type 2 diabetes. People scoring 10 points or more are at a high risk for diabetes and are encouraged to speak with their health care provider. The Diabetes Risk Test, in English or Spanish, is available by calling the Association toll-free at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or by visiting www.diabetes.org/community-events.
"Today is a day for Americans to take charge of their health. The diabetes epidemic has taken a devastating toll on families and communities across the country," said Ann Albright, PhD, RD, President, Health Care & Education, American Diabetes Association. "But there is hope. By taking the Diabetes Risk Test, people can be one step closer to having the information they need to lead a healthier life."
The primary risk factors for type 2 diabetes include being overweight, sedentary, over the age of 45 and having a family history of diabetes. African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at an increased risk, as are women who have had babies weighing more than nine pounds at birth.
Sometimes people with type 2 diabetes live for years without realizing that they have the disease. While people with diabetes can exhibit noticeable symptoms, such as frequent urination, blurred vision and excessive thirst, most people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes do not show these overt warning signs as they develop the disease. Often, type 2 diabetes only becomes evident when people develop one or more of its serious complications, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye damage, and nerve damage that can lead to amputations.
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. For the past 75 years, our mission has been to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.