FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
March 22, 2010 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford – The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) is joining forces with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) and is recognizing Tuesday, March 23 as Connecticut Diabetes Alert Day. This one-day, “wake-up” call is asking people across the nation to know their risk of diabetes.
“Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by losing just 5-7% of body weight through regular physical activity (30 minutes a day), five days a week and healthy eating,” said Dr. J. Robert Galvin, Commissioner of the Department of Public Health. The Department of Public Health and the American Diabetes Association hope that this American Diabetes Alert Day will encourage people to recognize and act on any diabetes risk factors and warning signs they might discover.”
Diabetes is a devastating disease that affects an estimated 264,486 people in Connecticut alone. Nearly one-third of these, or nearly 80,000 people, are not even aware that they have the disease. Meanwhile, the complications of diabetes may already be starting to take hold. If the number of people affected by diabetes continues to increase, one out of every three children born today will face a future with diabetes.
The Diabetes Risk Test shows users whether they are at low, moderate, or high risk for diabetes. If they are at high risk, they are encouraged to schedule an appointment with their healthcare provider. The risk test can be found on line at www.diabetes.org or by calling 1-877- 639-0385 ext 3532 to request a paper copy in English or Spanish. The DPH and the NDEP stress the importance of knowing your family history of diabetes as this is an important risk factor for the disease.
“Everyone should be especially aware of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes,” stressed Dr. Galvin. “People who are overweight, under active (living a sedentary lifestyle), and over the age of 45 should consider themselves at risk for the disease. African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and people who have a family history of the disease are at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.”
Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles.
To learn more about diabetes, the warning signs and living with diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association’s website at www.diabetes.org. For information on local Diabetes Alert Day events, call your local hospital or community health center or the ADA at 1-877-639-0385 ext 3532.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.
The National Diabetes Education Program translates the latest science and spreads the word that diabetes is serious, common, costly, yet controllable. Visit their website at www.ndep.nih.gov