March 27th is Diabetes Alert Day 2012
The University of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center will have tables set up throughout The University of Chicago Medical Center with information about diabetes risk factors, prevention and news on developments in diabetes care.
What is American Diabetes Association Alert Day?
American Diabetes Association Alert Day, which is held every fourth Tuesday in March, 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. The test has been updated with a new algorithm adjusted to align with a more contemporary and accurate scoring system that enables the general public to better assess their risk for type 2 diabetes.
Why is Alert Day important?
Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States, and a quarter of them—7 million—do not even know they have it. An additional 79 million, or one in three American adults, have prediabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, diagnosis often comes 7 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 Association has made a strong commitment to primary prevention of type 2 diabetes by increasing awareness of prediabetes and actively engaging individuals in preventative behaviors like weight loss, physical activity and healthful eating. Alert Day is a singular moment in time in which we can raise awareness and prompt action among the general public – particularly those at risk.
Who should participate in Alert Day?
Everyone should be aware of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes. People who are overweight, under active (living a sedentary lifestyle) and over the age of 45 should consider themselves at risk for the disease. African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and people who have a family history of the disease also are at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed by losing just 7% 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. By understanding your risk, you can take the necessary steps to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
What will happen on American Diabetes Alert Day 2012?
For 24 years, the American Diabetes Association has set aside one special day for people to learn if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a growing epidemic in the United States, but it can be controlled with knowledge and healthy behavior. In 2011, the Association encouraged Americans to “Join the Million Challenge” and more than 600,000 people took the Diabetes Risk Test. On March, 27, 2012, the Association will aim to top that number, inspiring people to take the all-new Diabetes Risk Test, as well as to share the test with everyone they care about – friends, family members and colleagues. With each person that takes the test and knows their risk, the Association is that much closer to stopping diabetes.
The new Diabetes Risk Test asks users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risks for prediabetes 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.
How does one obtain the Association’s Diabetes Risk Test and additional information?
You can be part of the movement to Stop Diabetes® and get your free Diabetes Risk Test (English or Spanish) by visiting the ADA on Facebook, stopdiabetes.com or by calling 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Although Alert Day is a one-day event, the Diabetes Risk Test is available year-round.