Tuesday, March 26 is Diabetes Alert Day, and with an estimated one in three adults in the United States with pre-diabetes, the Illinois Department of Public Health is encouraging people to get tested.
"Diabetes is a serious disease that affects nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States—and a quarter of them don't even know they have it," IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said. "The purpose of Diabetes Alert Day is to serve as a wake-up call to the dangers of diabetes, and to emphasize the importance of being screened for pre-diabetes and diabetes, and to treat it."
According to a 2011 study, almost ten percent of Illinois adults have been diagnosed with diabetes, with the highest prevalence between 2007 and 2009 occurring in Alexander, Pulaski, and Williamson counties.
Those who are overweight, live a sedentary or inactive lifestyle, and are over the age of 45 are at risk for the disease and should consider getting tested. Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, African Americans, Latinos, and those with a family history of the disease are also at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes.
Early detection of diabetes is key to the successful treatment, delay, or prevention of complications like heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stoke, amputation, and even death. The disease can also be prevented or delayed by losing seven percent of one's body weight through regular physical activity and healthy eating.
A short online type 2 diabetes risk test offered by the American Diabetes Association can be found here.
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