For Immediate Release
Barbara Hersh, 785-368-8053
TOPEKA, Kan. – Governor Brownback declared March 27 as American Diabetes Association Alert Day. In recognition of Diabetes Alert Day, March 27, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s (KDHE) Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, in partnership with the Kansas Diabetes Action Council and American Diabetes Association, encourages Kansans to determine their risk for pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. American Diabetes Association Alert Day is a day of awareness about the seriousness of this disease. If left undiagnosed or untreated, diabetes can lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and even premature death.
The diabetes risk test is a simple way to determine if you are at low, moderate or high risk. Take the test online at www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/diabetes-risk-test. People considered at high risk should talk with their health care provider to see if additional testing is needed.
Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes – 18.8 million with diagnosed diabetes and 7 million with undiagnosed diabetes. In 2010, about 179,000 Kansas adults 18 years and older have been diagnosed with diabetes. Additionally, 119,000 Kansas adults have pre-diabetes, a condition that puts them at a greater risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. Understanding the risk factors for pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes is an important first step to prevent the onset of this disease.
According to CDC, if you are aged 45 years or older, or if you have one of the following risk factors, you should consider getting tested for diabetes.
One of the most important modifiable risk factors for diabetes and its complications is being overweight (body mass index 25-29 kg/m2) or obese (body mass index equal or greater than 30 kg/m2).
“Currently, 2 out of 3 Kansas adults, or about 1.4 million adult Kansans, are either overweight or obese,” said Robert Moser, M.D., KHDE Secretary and State Health Officer. “Being overweight or obese greatly increases the risk of developing diabetes and increases the difficulty of managing diabetes for those already diagnosed. Fortunately, if you are overweight, losing at least 5-7 percent of your body weight through regular physical activity and healthy eating can often prevent or delay the disease.”
The KDHE Diabetes Prevention and Control Program and the Kansas Diabetes Action Council work to improve the lives of Kansans living with or at risk for diabetes and to prevent new cases of diabetes. For more information, please contact the program at 785-291-3739 or visit the Kansas Diabetes Council website at www.kansasdiabetesactioncouncil.org.