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West Jefferson Medical Center to observe Diabetes Alert Day

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 the American Diabetes Association is observing National Diabetes Alert Day, a one day wake-up call for the American public. “What will you do to Stop Diabetes™? Know your risk.”

On the fourth Tuesday of every March, the American Diabetes Association encourages people to join the Stop Diabetes movement to learn if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. West Jefferson health educators will join thousands around the country today in this special observance.

In Marrero, West Jefferson Medical Center diabetes educator registered nurse Lisa Becnel joins West Jeff Fitness Center registered dietitian Brook Conner Ritchie today:

  • 11:30am - 1pm
  • Atrium
  • West Jefferson Medical Center

Becnel and Ritchie will be on hand to provide literature on diabetes and risk factors as well answer questions.

Why is Diabetes Alert Day important? The American Diabetes Association reminds us that diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 24 million children and adults in the United States. An additional 57 million or one in five Americans have pre-diabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing ‘type 2 diabetes’. Diabetes is named the “silent killer” because nearly one-fourth of those with the disease – 5.7 million – do not know they have it. For many, diagnosis may come seven to ten years after the onset of the disease. Therefore, early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of its complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.

Who should participate in Diabetes Alert Day? Everyone should be aware of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes and especially:

  • People who are overweight
  • Individuals who are under active (living a sedentary lifestyle)
  • And persons over the age of 45 who should consider themselves at risk for the disease.

African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. and people who have a family history of the disease also are at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.