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March 23, 2024

American Diabetes Alert Day was first observed as a holiday in 1988. It is observed annually on the fourth Tuesday of the month of March and is sponsored by the American Diabetes Association. This year March 26th is American Diabetes Alert Day.

The purpose of this day is to raise awareness about the risk for and symptoms associated with diabetes. If you think you may be at risk for prediabetes or diabetes, you are encouraged to take a self-test at If you score as a high risk you should follow up with your healthcare provider.

Diabetes is a very prevalent and costly disease, but it can be managed and controlled. Managing blood sugar levels effectively reduces the risk of serious health complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, and amputations. Accredited/Recognized Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) programs have been shown to provide those living with diabetes necessary tools that can be used to improve blood sugar levels.

In the US, 38.4 million adults (11.6% of the US population) have diabetes. Nearly 1 in 5 people do not even know as they have yet to be diagnosed. (source: CDC National Diabetes Statistics Report 2023)

In Kentucky, 486,196 adults (13.8%) have diabetes. Kentucky ranks 5th in the nation for prevalence of diabetes. (Kentucky Diabetes Report 2023)

Additionally, in the US 97.6 million adults have prediabetes and 1 in 4 do not know that they have this condition. (source: CDC National Diabetes Statistics Report 2023)

In Kentucky, it is estimated 345,083 adults (12.2%) have prediabetes. (source: Kentucky Diabetes Report 2023).

Prediabetes means the blood sugar levels are elevated, but do not meet the diagnosis of diabetes. Prediabetes puts a person more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but with healthy eating, weight loss and physical activity a person can cut that risk in half. A structured CDC recognized research program titled the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) has been proven to help those with prediabetes prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

Kentucky River District Health Department is one organization that offers both DSMES and NDPP programs. You can call (606)-785-3144 or (606)-668-3185 for more information. You can also find more information and schedules of statewide programs on the Diabetes Prevention and Control Program in Kentucky website.