The numbers are alarming:
*** One in every three Americans is at risk for Type 2 diabetes.
*** Nearly 26 million Americans have it.
*** Every 17 seconds someone is diagnosed with diabetes, and within the next 24 hours, it will claim the lives of 200 people.
*** Type 2 diabetes doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke.
But perhaps the most alarming statistic is that one in four people with the disease—approximately 7 million people—don’t know that they have it.
Singer Patti LaBelle first learned that she had Type 2 diabetes when she collasped while singing “Over the Rainbow” in concert and was rushed to the hospital.
This can happen because Type 2 diabetes may not cause many symptoms in the early phases. But it’s a progressive disease. If not treated, it causes long-term damage to the eyes, the kidneys, and the lower legs and feet. Damage which can ultimately lead to blindness, kidney failure, or damage to the feet or legs which requires amputation.
As part of its campaign to Stop Diabetes, the American Diabetes Association is sponsoring an effort to get one million people to take the Diabetes Risk Test between March 22 and April 22. You can be one of them.
Just click the “Join the Million Challenge” link under the banner above to find out if you’re at risk. You may be surprised to learn, for example, that one of the risk factors is age: being over 45 years old—even if you are active and your weight is in the healthy range.
Do you think The Million Challenge will work? Will one million people take the test and discuss the results with their doctors? Will The Million Challenge encourage people to find out about their risks without scaring them so much that they do nothing?