1 in 5 People is at High Risk for Type 2 Diabetes - ADA Diabetes Alert Day is March 23

The folks over at American Diabetes Association got this important information to us.

Alexandria, VA (March 17, 2010) To combat the growing diabetes epidemic, the American Diabetes Association is asking Americans – “What will you do to Stop Diabetes? Know your risk.”
On March 23, the 22nd annual American Diabetes Association Alert DaySM, the Association is encouraging people to join the Stop Diabetes movement by taking the
Diabetes Risk Test (at stopdiabetes.com or 800-DIABETES) to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes and how they can take action to prevent the disease.

Of the approximately 24 million Americans living with diabetes, nearly 6 million Americans have type 2 diabetes but don’t even know it. Another 57 million or one in five Americans have pre-diabetes, placing them at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. If current trends continue, one in three children born today faces a future with diabetes.

“Look around you. We are surrounded by risk,” said Christine T. Tobin, RN, MBA, CDE, President, Health Care & Education, American Diabetes Association. “One in every five people we meet today
is at high risk for type 2 diabetes. We need to change the future of diabetes now. One of the first steps is to find out if you or a loved one is at risk for developing type 2 diabetes by taking the Diabetes Risk Test. Knowing your risk can be the first step towards stopping this dreadful disease.”

The Diabetes Risk Test requires users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for type 2 diabetes, and shows users whether they are at low, moderate or high risk for pre-diabetes or diabetes. If they are at high risk, they are encouraged to talk with their health care provider. Educational resources and advice can also be found at stopdiabetes.com.

Among 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, Latinos/Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at an increased risk, as are women who have had gestational diabetes or have had a baby weighing more than 9 pounds at birth.

People with type 2 diabetes can live for years without realizing 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 at the time 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, or nerve damage that can lead to amputations.

Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by losing just 5-7 percent of body weight through 30 minutes of regular physical activity, five days a week and healthy eating,” said Tobin. “We encourage everyone to gather their friends, family, loved ones and co-workers and find ways to live healthier lifestyles today.”

Economic Toll

The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is more than $174 billion; further published studies suggest that when additional costs for gestational diabetes, pre-diabetes and undiagnosed diabetes are included, the total diabetes-related costs in the United States could exceed $218 billion.

Local Activities

The American Diabetes Association’s local offices are working with their community organizations and partners to promote Diabetes Alert Day. To find out what local activities are happening in your area, visit stopdiabetes.com.

How You can Get Involved

Join the movement to Stop Diabetes and get your free Diabetes Risk Test (English or Spanish), healthy lifestyle tips and more. Call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit stopdiabetes.com. Although Diabetes Alert Day is a one-day event, the Diabetes Risk Test is available all year long.