March 27 is American Diabetes Association (ADA) Alert Day®, and we want to make sure Iowans know their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, as well as preventive steps you can take today to reduce the chances of developing the disease.
In the United States alone, diabetes affects over 30 million people; another 84 million Americans have prediabetes, yet only about 10 percent are aware of it. These statistics are alarming, and the impact on the cost of health care (ADA estimates that diabetes cost the health care system $245 billion in 2012) makes preventing the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes more important than ever before.
Know Your Risk
The nation’s struggle with obesity and type 2 diabetes is no surprise, but the number of people with prediabetes is a growing issue, especially when so few people realize they have the condition. Prediabetes is a condition in which individuals have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
Often preventable, people with prediabetes can reduce their risk for developing type 2 diabetes by adopting behavior changes that include eating healthier and increasing physical activity. People with prediabetes are at risk for not only developing type 2 diabetes, but also cardiovascular disease, stroke and other conditions.
As the leading community-based network committed to improving the nation’s health, the YMCA encourages all adults to take a diabetes risk test. Some of the factors that could put a person at risk for type 2 diabetes include family history, age, weight and activity level.
ADA Alert Day can serve as a wake-up call for people to learn their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes—conditions that are preventable if you take steps to improve your health. Many people don’t realize they are at risk and finding out is not only good for your health, but good for your wallet too.