Today is the 24th annual American Diabetes Association Alert Day®! Held every fourth Tuesday in March, it’s the American Diabetes Association’s one-day “wake up call” where we are asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to assess their risk for type 2 diabetes.
Did you know one in three American adults is at risk for developing type 2 diabetes? This means that over 79 million American adults have the possibility of developing a disease that can lead to deadly complications, a disease that strikes nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States. Nearly 7 million Americans, 25 percent, are unaware that they already have the disease. We must take action now to Stop Diabetes®.
Today is your opportunity to step up and take charge of your health. Is it possible that you or someone you know may be at risk for type 2 diabetes? We’re asking everyone to “Take it. Share it.” – take the American Diabetes Association’s free Diabetes Risk Test – a series of questions about your weight, age, family history and other potential risks for developing type 2 diabetes and share it with everyone you know. For every Diabetes Risk Test taken, Boar’s Head® — manufacturer of premium delicatessen products — will donate $5 to the American Diabetes Association, starting March 27 through April 27, 2012, up to $50,000. The Diabetes Risk Test is available in English and Spanish on our Facebook page, at stopdiabetes.com or by calling 1-800-DIABETES.
I also would like to invite all of you to join me today at 3 p.m. for a Twitter chat. We will be discussing how people can assess their risk for type 2 diabetes and steps that can be taken to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes and its complications. This is your opportunity to ask me questions you may have about type 2 diabetes. I’m here to help! To participate, just log on to Twitter, follow @AmDiabetesAssn and search for #diabetesalert. Those who do not have Twitter accounts can also follow along by visiting Twitter.com and searching for #diabetesalert.
Diabetes is a serious disease and early diagnosis is crucial to successful treatment. Many people don’t realize diabetes can affect anyone regardless of age, ethnicity or social status. Recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes in 2050. Going forward, these people may experience the devastating consequences including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and amputations caused by nerve damage. Unfortunately, many people with type 2 diabetes will go seven to ten years without diagnosis. Many of the symptoms do not appear until it is too late.
Knowing your risk is the first step in prevention or early treatment of type 2 diabetes. It is time to know your risk. Take the time to find out if you or someone you know is at risk and speak to your healthcare provider immediately.
Together, we can Stop Diabetes. Take the Diabetes Risk Test today and spread the word about this terrible disease and its devastating complications.
Remember, you or someone you love may be at risk. Don’t wait any longer – take the test. You need to know.
Geralyn Spollett, MSN, ANP-CS, CDE
President, Health Care & Education
American Diabetes Association