Learn Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes on American Diabetes Association’s 29th Annual Alert Day

Arlington, Virginia
March 28, 2017

Knowing your risk for type 2 diabetes can be the life-changing wakeup call needed for millions of Americans

More than 29 million Americans have diabetes; of those, nearly 8 million don’t know they have the disease. Today marks the American Diabetes Association’s (Association) 29th annual Alert Day, an opportunity to sound the alarm about the prevalence and risks of type 2 diabetes by asking Americans to take the Association’s Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test. The free, anonymous risk test only takes a minute to complete and is available online at diabetes.org/risktest. By answering questions such as “Do you have a family history of diabetes?” and “Are you physically active?” participants can learn if they’re at risk for having type 2 diabetes in 60 seconds.

People with diabetes are at significant risk for serious complications, including kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, blindness and lower-limb amputations. An estimated one in three American adults has prediabetes—a condition in which blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. With lifestyle changes, people with prediabetes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, 90 percent of people with prediabetes don’t know they have it. 

“An awareness that one is at risk for type 2 diabetes is the key to prevention! You can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes with healthy food choices, weight loss, exercise and medication, however, knowing your risk is the first step,” said the Association’s Chief Scientific, Medical and Mission Officer William T. Cefalu, MD. “Today, we’re asking Americans to take 60 seconds from their day to find out if they’re at risk for having type 2 diabetes, and we hope participants will share the test with friends and family.”

The risk test is the Association’s evidence-based, online tool that scores participants based on their unique responses, and at the conclusion of the test displays a numerical score indicating the participants’ risk for having type 2 diabetes. Individuals who receive a high score are encouraged to speak with a health care professional right away, and are given tips and information about next steps.

To help increase awareness of the prevalence and risks for type 2 diabetes, the Association has collaborated with two strategic partners this year. Quest Diagnostics Health & Wellness, the 2017 national Alert Day sponsor, provides employer-based biometric screenings—including blood glucose tests—nationwide. Committed to helping prevent and delay type 2 diabetes, Quest will share the risk test with its 43,000 employees and employer clients and will donate $1 up to $200,000 to the Association for each biometric wellness screening completed between March 28 and April 27, 2017. 

The Association is also partnering with Prince Hall Shriners, a national fraternal organization dedicated to educating the African American community about type 2 diabetes. African Americans are nearly twice as likely to develop diabetes as white adults, and nearly 30 percent of diabetes in African Americans is undiagnosed. Prince Hall Shriners will be distributing risk test posters to barber shops and beauty salons in states with existing Prince Hall Shriners chapters. 

Anyone can participate in Alert Day by taking the free Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test (in English or Spanish) at diabetes.org/risktest.

About the American Diabetes Association

Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes; more than 30 million adults and children have diabetes; and every 21 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The ADA drives discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the ADA supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the ADA at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit diabetes.org. Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn)