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Lifestyle changes such as weight loss and increased physical activity can help delay or prevent the onset of diabetes.

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Health Center Today, March 19, 2010

It's Time to Wake-Up to Diabetes

By Chris Kaminski

The American Diabetes Association is urging individuals to "wake-up" and find out whether they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. On Tuesday, March 23, the association holds its 22nd Annual American Diabetes Association Alert DaySM. This yearís theme will encourage people to join the Stop Diabetes movement by taking the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 24 million children and adults in the United States. It is named the "silent killer" because nearly 6 million Americans have diabetes but donít even know it.

"Everyone should be aware of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes," says Jean Kostak, UConn Health Centerís Diabetes Education Program Coordinator. "Individuals who are overweight, 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 also at an increased risk," says Kostak.

Additionally, there are an estimated 57 million or one in five Americans who have pre-diabetes. Those with pre-diabetes have blood glucose levels higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle changes such as weight loss and increased physical activity can help delay or prevent the onset of the disease.

Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by losing just 5 to 7 percent of body weight through regular physical activity and healthy eating. The UConn Health Centerís Diabetes Education Program has several programs, classes and groups to help individuals prevent diabetes or assist those already diagnosed with diabetes. In addition, the Health Centerís Diabetes Comprehensive Care Program offers state-of-the-art care for people with diabetes and their families.

Learn whether you are at risk for diabetes by taking the free Diabetes Risk Test available in English or Spanish. For further information about UConn Health Center programs, call 800-535-6232.

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Whether you are at risk for diabetes, newly diagnosed or have been coping with diabetes for years, itís always a good idea to stay informed. Join experts from the UConn Health Centerís Diabetes Education Program at a Discovery Series event, Tuesday, April 13, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Keller Auditorium. For more information, call 800-535-6232 or visit online at discoveryseries.uchc.edu.