Health and Family Services Cabinet
Take Part in American Diabetes Alert
March 25 is a ‘Call to Action’ to Evaluate Your Risk
Knowing if you’re at risk for diabetes is important for the prevention of one of Kentucky’s deadliest diseases. Yet many people don’t take time to learn if they are likely to develop diabetes.
To address the burden of this disease, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) are urging Kentuckians to evaluate their risk for developing type 2 diabetes by taking part in the annual American Diabetes Alert Day on March 25.
In Kentucky, an estimated 318,000 adults have diagnosed diabetes, an additional 127,200 Kentucky adults may have undiagnosed diabetes, and an estimated 611,000 Kentuckians ages 40 to 74 have pre-diabetes, putting them at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
“Many Kentuckians have very little knowledge about diabetes or how it affects the body,” said William Hacker, M.D., Health and Family Services’ acting undersecretary for health and DPH commissioner. “We think if more people know what diabetes is and what increases their risk, they’ll be better equipped to prevent the disease.”
The American Diabetes Alert, which is annually marked on the fourth Tuesday in March, raises awareness about the seriousness of diabetes by helping people identify certain qualities that may make them susceptible to the disease.
Among the primary risk factors for type 2 diabetes are being overweight, sedentary, older than 45 and having a family history of diabetes. African-Americans, Hispanics, 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.
DPH, along with the ADA, encourages everyone to take the Diabetes Risk Test, which requires users to answer seven simple questions about weight, age, lifestyle and family history. People scoring 10 points or more are at a high risk for type 2 diabetes and are encouraged to see a health care professional for further evaluation.
To obtain a copy of the diabetes risk test or for more information about diabetes (in English or Spanish), please visit www.diabetes.org/alert or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). For more information, call the Kentucky Diabetes Prevention and Control Program at (502) 564-7996 or visit its Web site at http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/ach/diabetes or the National Diabetes Education Program site at www.ndep.nih.gov.