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Millions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders at increased risk for type 2 diabetes

SAN DIEGO - About 40 percent of adults ages 40 to 74 or 41 million people - have pre-diabetes, a condition that raises a person's risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Studies show that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who are overweight are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, and some groups, including Native Hawaiians, Filipinos, and Japanese Americans living in Hawaii, are twice as likely to have diabetes as white residents of similar age.

To respond to this serious health threat, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) launched a public awareness campaign today called "Two Reasons I Find Time to Prevent DiabetesMy Future and Theirs" at the Paradise Valley Hospital in National City, a San Diego suburb. The campaign delivers the message that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with modest weight loss by getting regular physical activity and making healthy food choices.

"Two Reasons I Find Time to Prevent Diabetes" is part of NDEP's Small Steps. Big Rewards. Prevent type 2 Diabetes campaign that targets groups at high risk for diabetes by promoting the importance of losing a small amount of weight. Tailored specifically for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, "Two Reasons" speaks to the strong intergenerational family ties in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and encourages people at risk to make lifestyle changes now so they can live a long and healthy life and enjoy their loved ones in the future.

"We are asking Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to find out if they are at risk for type 2 diabetes, and we're showing them how to take action to prevent it," said HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. "Asian Americans may not realize that the weight they think is healthy is putting them at risk for diabetes. That's why the Small Steps campaign is so important."

Nina Agbayani, Director of Programs for the As
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Contact: TaWanna Berry
tawannab@mail.nih.gov
301-496-3583
NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
29-Sep-2004


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