DIABETES ALERT: 60 seconds to take risk test for Type 2 - KMSP-TV

DIABETES ALERT: 60 seconds to take risk test for Type 2

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Tuesday marks the 26th annual Alert Day for the American Diabetes Association, and physicians call it a one-day wake-up call to raise awareness about the risks of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The ADA is urging Americans to take just one minute out of their day on Tuesday to take a quick quiz that will assess potential risk of prediabetes, or Type 2 diabetes. Preventative tips are provided, and those who have high risk will be encouraged to contact a health provider. Additionally, for every online test taken during the next month, $5 will be donated to the ADA up to $50,000.

TAKE THE TEST: Are you at risk of Type 2 diabetes?

Last year, more than 39,000 people took the risk test on Alert Day, and 37 percent were found to be at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

An estimated 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes, and physicians believe at least a quarter don't even know they have it. An additional 79 million Americans -- or one in three adults -- has prediabetes.

Given that diagnosis tends to follow seven to 10 years after the onset of the disease, organizers hope to raise awareness before disabling and possibly deadly complications by promoting early diagnosis.


Tonight on Fox 9 News @ 5, Kelcey Carlson spoke with Dr. Rich Bergenstal, endocrinologist at the International Diabetes Center and past president of the ADA, about why Alert Day is important and how people can reduce the risk of becoming diabetic. Watch the video for the full interview.


"This is that big day we want everybody to take this risk test. When they go to that risk test, they'll see there are seven questions," Bergenstal explained. "There are factors like your age -- I know you can't do much about it, but if you're over 40, that starts to be an increased risk."

Q: If you are in that high-risk category, what do you need to start doing today?

A: That's a really good question because people will take this test, and if they get a score of 5 or something, then they are supposed to go see their doctor. … There is a single test called a blood sugar test, or the A1C, and your doctor will tell you, 'Boy, you're good', 'you're at risk for diabetes,' or 'you have diabetes,' and then you start the plan.

Q: If you have it and you don't know it, how dangerous is that?

A: Diabetes is not a good thing to have. Yes, we have good treatments and we will work with you, but diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, of kidney failure, amputations -- your risk of heart disease goes up. So, it's much better to take early action and say, 'Can I prevent this?' or 'If I have it, can I find it early?' and get that treatment started.

As for general advice, Bergenstal says anyone who is concerned about their risk or is waiting for an appointment should begin a walking routine and strive to maintain a healthy weight.

"It makes a huge difference if you just do those two things," he said.

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