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Are you at risk for diabetes?

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Yesterday's story in the Forum about a man who didn't know he had diabetes really hit home. Just before Thanksgiving, a family member of mine was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Since then, I've been trying to eat five fruits and vegetables a day as recommended by the American Diabetes Association to lower my risk for diabetes.

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As you have probably read, today is American Diabetes Association Alert Day. Each year on the fourth Tuesday in March, the American Diabetes Association encourages everyone to take an online diabetes risk test to find out if they are at risk for developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. I took the test to find out my risk factor. It is simple and quick

According to the American Diabetes Association, you're at greater risk for diabetes if you smoke, have high blood pressure, have high cholesterol, are overweight or obese, don't get regular physical activity or eat fewer than five fruits and vegetables per day.

Unfortunately, diabetes is a serious problem in North Dakota. Diabetes rates in North Dakota have increased 44 percent in the last decade, according to the North Dakota Department of Health. Nationwide, nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes and 7 million of them are undiagnosed. Insurance companies, like Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) are making changes and are starting to reward doctors for care rather than the number of services provided. This will help to improve care for those with diabetes and other chronic conditions.

If you are overweight, have a sedentary lifestyle and are in your mid-forties or older, you're at risk for diabetes. If you or someone you know fits this profile, take the diabetes risk test.

Denise Pinkney works as an editor at BCBSND. For more information, visit www.bcbsnd.com.

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