Tuesday March 25, 2014 is the American Diabetes Association's Diabetes Alert Day. Though the statistics about the prediabetes and type 2 diabetes epidemics are alarming enough to sound the alarm 365 days a year, Diabetes Alert Day is THE day each year that the American Diabetes Association sets aside to encourage people to TAKE the Risk Test and if need be, TAKE ACTION to diagnose and care for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes NOW. I fully support this effort!
Yes, the stats are downright scary and clearly show the dent diabetes is and will continue to make in our health care system, let alone peoples’ individual lives and livelihood!
While we were experiencing a much ado about nothing “snow storm” in Washington, DC on March 6, 2013, hundreds of diabetes advocates were storming Capitol Hill for a cause we should be doing much about.
To kick off their advocacy day the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) released findings from a report they commissioned, Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2012, at a press conference. Joining ADA leaders at the press event were Ann Albright, PhD, RD, director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation, Judith Fradkin, MD, director of the National Institutes of Health’s division which encompasses diabetes (NIDDK) and several key members of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Jean Shaheen (D-NH) (who has a granddaughter with type 1 diabetes I learned at AADE's advocacy day in 2012).
The stats presented by ADA are downright scary! It is, without a doubt, time to sound the alert about our prediabetes and type 2 diabetes epidemics louder and louder.
Check out a few key stats.* Read through these slowly and repeatedly, it takes a few readings to absorb their impact!
Yes, it’s Diabetes Alert Day, but who are all these red flags aimed at and to do what?
Around the world the who to alert on Diabetes Alert Day is hundreds of millions of people. The International Diabetes Federation offers tons of global facts and stats. Suffice to say there’s a type 2 diabetes tsunami already well on it’s way!
In the U.S. the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Diabetes Fact Sheet tells us exactly who Diabetes Alert Day is targeted to:
7 million of the 26 million people with diabetes WHO do not yet know they have diabetes. If any of these 7 million people were tested today, they could be diagnosed with diabetes. For most of these people, it’s type 2 diabetes. (26 million people with diabetes represents over 8% of our population.)
70+ million people WHO could be diagnosed with prediabetes today. (Yes, you read this number correctly. Of the estimated 79 million Americans with prediabetes (that’s 35% of American adults), only 8% (and that’s being generous) know they have prediabetes and research shows not even half of these individuals (or their healthcare providers) are taking preventive efforts to slow it’s progression (Learn more in my blog Prediabetes, But Nearly No One Knows It.)