By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Tuesday, March 24, 2015, is 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 is even more committed this year to making sure the public is aware of their risk for type 2 diabetes. The campaign will run through April 21.
Fourteen percent of Californians live with Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes—and over 40% of adults in California have prediabetes. On Alert Day, ADA asks Angelenos 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 “Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes” events (see attached 2015 calendar of events in Greater Los Angeles).
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 prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. 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. Preventative tips are provided for everyone who takes the test, including encouraging those at high risk to talk with their health care provider.
“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 ADA-LA Executive Director Cassie Shafer. “As we mark 75 years of our fight to stop diabetes across America, Alert Day is one of the most important ways we engage the community in our fight to stop diabetes. We ask every Angeleno to take the test, share your results, and join us in stepping out to get active and stop one of the most serious public health crises of our time.”
Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 30 million Americans. A quarter of those affected by diabetes are not even aware that they have the disease. Recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take more steps to stop the disease.
An additional 86 million, or one in three American adults, have prediabetes, which means that their blood glucose (sugar) is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Early intervention through 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 created 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.
“By understanding your risk, you can take the necessary steps to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes,” said Shafer. “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.”
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.