A Diabetes Wake Up Call

A Diabetes Wake Up Call

03.26.13 | By Preet Bilinski

Today is the American Diabetes Association Alert Day, a one-day, "wake-up call" asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. One in three American adults - that's 79 million people- have pre-diabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Not to mention the 26 million Americans that already have diabetes, a quarter of whom are unaware they have the disease.

Diabetes is a serious chronic disease, but it can be controlled with the proper treatment plan, including diet, exercise and medications. The CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program found that weight loss and increased physical activity in people at high risk for diabetes reduced the development of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent in a 3-year period. Medicines can also help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. America's biopharmaceutical research companies are developing 221 medicines to treat diabetes and related conditions, including 130 for type 2 diabetes. Improved adherence to diabetes medications can also lead to better health outcomes and reduced costs.

According to recent research, patients with diabetes who do not consistently take their medicines as prescribed are 2.5 times more likely to be hospitalized than those who follow their prescribed treatment regimens more than 80 percent of the time. A recent study in Health Affairs projected that improved adherence to diabetes medications could prevent more than one million emergency room visits and close to 620,000 hospitalizations annually, for a total potential savings of $8.3 billion annually.

If left untreated, diabetes can lead to severe health problems and complications, such as heart disease, stroke, vision loss and amputation. Early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of its complications. Take a minute and find out if you are at risk. It can't hurt and as a bonus, for every Diabetes Risk Test taken, a $5 donation will be made to the American Diabetes Association.

 

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