Are You at Risk For Type 2 Diabetes?
March 24, 2015
American Diabetes Association Encourages the Public to Know their Risk
Today marks the annual American Diabetes Association Alert Day®, a “wake-up call” asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. During its 75th anniversary, the Association continues its focus on ensuring that the public is aware of their risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The campaign will run through April 21.
Beginning today, Americans will be urged to take the risk test at diabetes.org/alert and start living a healthy and active lifestyle. One way to do this is by joining or starting a team for one of the Association’s nationwide Step Out: ®Walk to Stop Diabetes® events, which happen primarily in October.
The Diabetes Risk Test requires users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for diabetes. Their results are reported as a numerical score indicating low or high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Those at higher risk are encouraged to speak with their health care provider to learn more about ways to help reduce their risk or delay onset of the disease.
“Awareness is crucial in the effort to Stop Diabetes,” said David Marrero, PhD, President, Health Care & Education, American Diabetes Association. “We’re asking the public to Take It. Share It. Step Out. Take one minute to take the risk test today, share it with your loved ones and get started getting active by getting involved in your local Step Out event. The Diabetes Risk Test can be the first step in knowing your risk and helping us get closer to our vision of a life free of diabetes and all of its burdens.”
The latest diabetes statistics show that one in three American adults are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Another 86 million American adults have prediabetes, which means that their blood glucose (sugar) is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. What’s more, out of the nearly 30 million Americans with diabetes, one quarter of them, or about eight million, do not realize they have the disease. Recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take steps to Stop Diabetes®.
You can be part of the movement to Stop Diabetes and get your free Diabetes Risk Test (English or Spanish), as well as information about diabetes and joining or starting a team for a Step Out event by visiting at diabetes.org/alert or by calling 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Walgreens is supporting the American Diabetes Association Alert Day efforts and you can ask your local Walgreens pharmacist for a copy of the Diabetes Risk Test. Although the campaign starts on March 24 and continues through April 21, the Diabetes Risk Test is available year-round.
Diabetes Awareness and Prevention
The primary risk factors for type 2 diabetes are being overweight, sedentary, over the age of 45 and having a family history of diabetes. African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at an increased risk, as are women who have had gestational diabetes or had babies weighing more than nine pounds at birth.
Diabetes symptoms can include frequent urination, blurred vision and excessive thirst. However, these overt warning signs may not become manifest for many years. As a result, for many, diagnosis may come 7 to 10 years after the actual onset of the disease. Closing the diagnosis gap is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of its complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.
Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by losing just 7 percent of body weight (such as 15 pounds if you weigh 200) through regular physical activity (30 minutes a day, five days a week) and healthy eating.
Alert Day in Your Community
Seven leading health organizations are collaborating this Alert Day to prevent type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, the American Medical Association, the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Council of La Raza, National Council on Aging and the YMCA of the USA are creating awareness about the risk of type 2 diabetes. Today, the organizations will direct people to diabetes.org/million so the public can learn their risk for type 2 diabetes. The organizations also are working together to determine the impact of delivering the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program at no cost to adults 65 and older in 17 communities.
The American Diabetes Association’s local offices are focused on enlisting the help of community organizations to promote Alert Day. To find out what activities are happening locally, visit www.diabetes.org.
About the American Diabetes Association
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. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.