For American Diabetes Association Alert Day, Mar. 26, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) are encouraging Michiganders to learn about their risk for diabetes, as well as to take the Diabetes Risk Test and share it with everyone they care about - friends, family members and colleagues.
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. In Michigan, this equates to more than 1 million adults with diabetes and approximately 2.6 adults with prediabetes. Recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take simple steps to prevent diabetes.
People who are overweight, participate in little to no physical activity, 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.
Unfortunately, many people have diabetes for 7 to 10 years before they are diagnosed, after disabling and even deadly complications have time to develop. Early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.
Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed by losing just 5-7 percent of body weight and through regular physical activity (about 30 minutes a day, five days a week). By understanding risk, a person can make lifestyle changes to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. To find a diabetes prevention program in Michigan, visit http://dpacmi.org/national-diabetes-prevention-program-in-michigan.aspx.
To get a free Diabetes Risk Test (English or Spanish) visit the ADA Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AmericanDiabetesAssociation, www.stopdiabetes.com or call 1-800-DIABETES. Although Alert Day is a one-day event, the Diabetes Risk Test is available year-round.
For more information about diabetes in Michigan, including the MI Healthier Tomorrow initiative to help Michiganders live a healthier lifestyle, visit www.michigan.gov/diabetes.