The 26th Annual American Diabetes Association Alert Day is set for Tues., March 25. The event is a one-day, “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. Americans are urged to take the risk test, share it, and start living a healthy and active lifestyle.
Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 26 million Americans. In Oregon and Southwest Washington, nearly 345,000 people live with diabetes, one third of those people are not aware that they have the disease. Recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless more people take the steps to prevent diabetes.
An additional 79 million, or one in three American adults, have pre-diabetes. Over 675,000 residents of Oregon and Southwest Washington have pre-diabetes, which means that their blood glucose (sugar) is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Early intervention via lifestyle changes such as weight loss and increased physical activity can help delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association is fighting to stop diabetes and takes the opportunity of Alert Day to help identify those who are undiagnosed and those at risk for type 2 diabetes, by educating people about diabetes risk factors and warning signs.
Unfortunately, diagnosis often comes seven to 10 years after the onset of the disease, after disabling and even deadly complications have had time to develop. Therefore, early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of its complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.
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 for developing the disease.
“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,” said Andrea Bruno, executive director of The American Diabetes Association of Oregon, Southwest Washington and Southern Idaho. “The American Diabetes Association hopes that this Alert Day will encourage people to take the Diabetes Risk Test and share it with their loved ones. By understanding your risk, you can take the necessary steps to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.”
To help people better recognize their own risk for type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association provides the Diabetes Risk Test, asking users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risks for pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. Preventative tips are provided for everyone who takes the test, including encouraging those at high risk to talk with their health care provider.
Area residents can get their free Diabetes Risk Test (English or Spanish) by visiting www.diabetes.org/risktest or by calling 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). For every Diabetes Risk Test taken, Boar’s Head Brand – a leading provider of premium delicatessen products – will donate $5 to the American Diabetes Association starting March 25 through April 25, 2014, up to $50,000. 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 Alert Day is a one-day event, the Diabetes Risk Test is available year-round.
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to prevent 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. Founded in 1940, the mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.
For more information, 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.
Source: The Reflector
March 19, 2014