NORMAN, Oklahoma - At the end of 2010, the American Diabetes Association surpassed its goal of inspiring one million Americans to be a part of the American Diabetes Association’s movement to Stop Diabetes®. To continue this momentum, the Association is asking the public to “Join the Million Challenge” by rallying one million people to take the Diabetes Risk Test beginning on the 23rd Annual American Diabetes Association Alert Day on March 22, 2011.
Diabetes 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 Diabetes Risk Test requires users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Risk Test will show users whether they are at low, moderate or high risk for prediabetes or diabetes. If they are at high risk, they are encouraged to talk with their health care provider.
Diabetes by the Numbers
According to the US Government, more than a quarter of a million Oklahomans are diagnosed with diabetes each year. One in every five Oklahoma seniors (65 years and older) have been diagnosed with diabetes. Just a few short years ago, Oklahoma ranked fourth highest in the nation in diabetes mortality rates. If current trends continue, one in three American adults will have diabetes by 2050.
Are You at Risk?
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, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at an increased risk, as are women who have had babies weighing more than nine pounds at birth. Unfortunately, people with type 2 diabetes can live for years without realizing that 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 that 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.
Take Charge of Your Health
You can “Join the Million Challenge” by getting your free Diabetes Risk Test (English or Spanish) at stopdiabetes.com, 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or text JOIN to 69866 (Standard data and message rates apply). Although Diabetes Alert Day is a one-day event, the Diabetes Risk Test is available year round. Local diabetes educators are always available.
For more information or to speak first hand with a diabetes expert, contact the Norman Regional Diabetes Center at (405) 307-5730.
About the American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to stop 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.