Press Release

March 27, 2012


State Health Department Encourages Testing on Diabetes Alert Day

Diabetes is the 7th Leading Cause of Death in Illinois

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) joins the American Diabetes Association today in recognizing March 27, 2012 as the 24th annual diabetes “Alert Day” encouraging the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to determine if they are at risk for developing “type 2” diabetes.

Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States, and a quarter of them do not even know they have it. An additional 79 million, or one in three American adults, have pre-diabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes (formerly called “adult-onset” or “non-insulin dependent” diabetes). 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.

Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. In Illinois, more than 827,000 adults have been diagnosed with diabetes and the disease was the 7th leading cause of death in 2008.

People who are overweight, living a sedentary, inactive lifestyle, and are over the age of 45 should consider themselves at risk for the disease. African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and people with a family history of the disease also are at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.

“Early diagnosis and education are critical for effective management of type 2 diabetes,” said IDPH Acting Director Dr. Arthur Kohrman. “We encourage all Illinoisans, and particularly those who fall into high risk categories for developing type 2 diabetes, to participate in ‘Alert Day’ and take the Diabetes Risk Test. Everyone should know their risk.”

Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed by losing just 7 percent of body weight (such as 15 pounds if you weigh 200) through regular physical activity (30 minutes a day, five days a week) and healthy eating. By understanding your risk, you can take the necessary steps to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Take the Diabetes Risk Test by visiting the American Diabetes Association’s Facebook page ( or calling 1-800-DIABETES. Also, visit the IDPH Diabetes Prevention and Control Program at, or call 217-782-4977 for more information.

idph online home
idph online home

Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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