Press Release
March 26, 2013
Sabrina L. Miller (312) 814-8194

State Health Department Encourages Testing on Diabetes Alert Day

About 10 Percent of Illinoisans Have Diabetes; Many More Undiagnosed

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) joins the American Diabetes Association in recognizing today as “Diabetes Alert Day”, to raise awareness about the disease and to encourage the public to learn whether they are at risk for developing “type 2” diabetes. American Diabetes Alert Day is recognized every 4th Tuesday in March.

“Diabetes is a serious disease that affects nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States—and a quarter of them don’t even know they have it,” said IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “The purpose of Diabetes Alert Day is to serve as a wake-up call to the dangers of diabetes, and to emphasize the importance of being screened for pre-diabetes and diabetes, and to treat it.”

An estimated 79 million Americans, or one in three adults, have pre-diabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes (formerly called “adult-onset” or “non-insulin dependent” diabetes). According to the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, nine percent of adults nationwide and nearly 10 percent of adults in Illinois have been diagnosed with diabetes. From 2007-2009, the highest prevalence of diabetes in Illinois was among residents in downstate Alexander, Pulaski and Williamson Counties.

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.

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.

Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed by losing just seven 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.

The American Diabetes Association offers a short online type 2 diabetes risk test that assesses risk of diabetes and provides information on how to lower the chances of being diagnosed with it. Take the Diabetes Risk Test at or at the American Diabetes Association’s Facebook page:

IDPH provides funding to local health departments and community-based organizations to offer Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) Programs providing information about diabetes prevention and management. The programs are available free or at low-cost to the public. Below is a list of current DSME programs throughout Illinois and the counties they represent:

DSME Program

County(s) Served

Asian Human Services




Rush University


Coordinated Youth & Human Services


Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department

Ford, Iroquois

Jefferson County Health Department


Livingston County Public Health Department


Macoupin County Health Department


Provena St. Mary’s


Provena Covenant


Sangamon County Department of Public Health


Whiteside County Health Department


Shelby County Health Department


Cass County Health Department


Clark County Health Department


DeWitt-Piatt Bi-County Health Department

DeWitt, Piatt

Jersey County Health Department


Southern 7 Health Department

Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Union

For more information about the Diabetes Self-Management Education programs please contact the IDPH Diabetes Prevention and Control Program at 217-782-3300.

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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