American Diabetes Alert Week is an annual event of the American Diabetes Association held the third week of March to help identify those who have diabetes but do not know it. Last year, the Association announced that although the number of people undiagnosed with diabetes had dropped by 2 million, there are still millions of people unaware of the disease's presence. As the number of people older than age 50 grows, diabetes will accelerate in all populations. Already, approximately half of all diabetes cases are found in people older than age 55. Complications of diabetes include heart disease, stroke, vision loss, kidney disease, and lower limb amputation.
"It is especially crucial to alert people to the dangers of diabetes because it can be a silent killer, gradually causing your body's blood vessels sand nerves to deteriorate with no warning signs or symptoms,'' said Dawn Posh, CDE, RN, BS, the American Diabetes Alert Chairperson. She said, "It is no wonder one out of three Americans who have diabetes don't know it."
The goal of the American Diabetes Alert is to inform people of the link that exists between diabetes and age, inactivity, being overweight, and having a family history of the disease. American Diabetes Alert offers a paper-and-pencil test to assess an individual's risk for the disease. The risk test is available at no cost by calling the Association at (800) DIABETES.