SOURCE: American Diabetes Association

American Diabetes Association

March 17, 2010 10:41 ET

Are You Surrounded by Risk?

1 in 5 People Is at High Risk for Type 2 Diabetes; Join the Movement to Stop Diabetes(SM) by Learning if You Are One of Them

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - March 17, 2010) - To combat the growing diabetes epidemic, the American Diabetes Association is asking Americans -- "What will you do to Stop Diabetes? Know your risk." On March 23, the 22nd annual American Diabetes Association Alert Day(SM), the Association is encouraging people to join the Stop Diabetes movement by taking the Diabetes Risk Test (at or 800-DIABETES) to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes and how they can take action to prevent the disease.

Of the approximately 24 million Americans living with diabetes, nearly 6 million Americans have type 2 diabetes but don't even know it. Another 57 million or one in five Americans have pre-diabetes, placing them at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. If current trends continue, one in three children born today faces a future with diabetes.

"Look around you. We are surrounded by risk," said Christine T. Tobin, RN, MBA, CDE, President, Health Care & Education, American Diabetes Association. "One in every five people we meet today is at high risk for type 2 diabetes. We need to change the future of diabetes now. One of the first steps is to find out if you or a loved one is at risk for developing type 2 diabetes by taking the Diabetes Risk Test. Knowing your risk can be the first step towards stopping this dreadful disease."

The Diabetes Risk Test requires users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for type 2 diabetes, and shows users whether they are at low, moderate or high risk for pre-diabetes or diabetes. If they are at high risk, they are encouraged to talk with their health care provider. Educational resources and advice can also be found at

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, Latinos/Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at an increased risk, as are women who have had gestational diabetes or have had a baby weighing more than 9 pounds at birth.

People with type 2 diabetes can live for years without realizing 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 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.

"Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by losing just 5-7 percent of body weight through 30 minutes of regular physical activity, five days a week and healthy eating," said Tobin. "We encourage everyone to gather their friends, family, loved ones and co-workers and find ways to live healthier lifestyles today."

Economic Toll
The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is more than $174 billion; further published studies suggest that when additional costs for gestational diabetes, pre-diabetes and undiagnosed diabetes are included, the total diabetes-related costs in the United States could exceed $218 billion.

Local Activities
The American Diabetes Association's local offices are working with their community organizations and partners to promote Diabetes Alert Day. To find out what local activities are happening in your area, visit

Joining the Movement to Stop Diabetes
Diabetes Alert Day is supported nationally by the WellPoint Foundation whose support has allowed the American Diabetes Association to distribute a Stop Diabetes Community Outreach Toolkit to help community-based organizations raise awareness of diabetes risk factors among their constituents beginning this month.

The Association would also like to thank its corporate supporters who have joined the movement to Stop Diabetes by conducting activities on Diabetes Alert Day including Nutrisystem, Rite Aid Corporation, VSP® Vision Care, Catherines, Eli Lilly and Company, McNeil Nutritionals LLC, makers of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener and Sun Crystals® All Natural Sweetener with Stevia, American Medical ID, Merisant, makers of Equal Sweetener and PureVia, AstraZeneca Bristol Myers-Squibb, Genentech, Abbott Diabetes Care, Roche Diagnostics, YogoFit, BD Medical--Diabetes Care, Novo Nordisk Inc., sanofi-aventis, Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

How You can Get Involved
Join the movement to Stop Diabetes and get your free Diabetes Risk Test (English or Spanish), healthy lifestyle tips and more. Call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Although Diabetes Alert Day is a one-day event, the Diabetes Risk Test is available all year long.

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. Founded in 1940, its mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information, please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

*Personal stories of people with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes are available upon request.

**A data visual showing the impact of type 2 diabetes is available upon request.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Dayle Kern
    (703) 549-1500 ext. 2290