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Emily Wilson
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St. Elizabeth’s Hospital offers free Diabetes Risk Tests on March 25

Belleville - St. Elizabeth’s Hospital will provide free Diabetes Risk Tests, in partnership with the American Diabetes Association, on Tuesday, March 25, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in honor of American Diabetes Association Alert Day®. This national event is a “wake-up call” asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.  The free tests will be located in the main hospital lobby, at 211 South Third Street Belleville, IL 62220 as well as in the Prairie Heart Institute lobby, at 340 West Lincoln Street.

The Diabetes Risk Tests are available for all ages.  Representatives from St. Elizabeth’s Diabetes Support Group, Wound Care Center and the American Diabetes Association will be present to answer questions individuals may have regarding diabetes nutritional education, diabetes support groups and wound/skin care tips for diabetic patients.

The Risk Test, which takes approximately one minute to complete, asks users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risks for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Preventative tips are provided for everyone who takes the test, including encouraging those at high risk to talk to their health care provider. 

According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes strikes nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States, and a quarter of them –  seven million – do not even now they have it. An additional 79 million, or one in three American adults, have prediabetes, which puts them at a high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, diagnosis often comes seven to 10 years after the onset of the disease, after disabling and even deadly complications have had time to develop.

“St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is excited to participate in this national initiative for the second consecutive year,” said Misty Conway, Program Director of St. Elizabeth's Wound Care Center. “As a region leader for Wound Care services, we are proud to help raise awareness for diabetes, which often times can be prevented or managed with simple lifestyle changes such as weight loss and increased physical activity”. 

Everyone should be aware of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes.  People who are overweight, underactive (living a sedentary lifestyle) and over the age of 45 should consider themselves at risk for the disease.  African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders and people who have a family history of the disease are also at an increased risk.

While Alert Day is held annually and serves as a one-day “wake up call” to the millions of people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the Risk Test is also available year-round at the American Diabetes Association website, stopdiabetes.com or by calling 1-800- DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). 

If you or someone you know feels they may be at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, talk to your doctor about your concerns. 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.   For more information about diabetes support or diabetic wound care at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, call (618) 234-2120.   

About Hospital Sisters Health System

Hospital Sisters Health System is a Roman Catholic health care mission founded to continue the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. Sponsored by the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care framed in traditional values taught by St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi.  It is dedicated to serving all people, including the poor and the needy, at each of its 13 Local Systems and physician practices in Illinois (Belleville, Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Highland, Litchfield, Springfield and Streator) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay).  For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org.




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