Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg joined by Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas R. Frieden
and Dr. Peter Sheehan, President of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) New
York City Leadership Council, today unveiled the ADA’s New York City subway
ad campaign, “Are You at Risk?” – a nationwide call to action
to identify the millions of Americans who are unaware that they have diabetes.
In New York City alone, an estimated 800,000 people are living with diabetes
– 250,000 of them are unaware of it. The subway advertising campaign –
specifically designed with iconographic images of New York City – was
unveiled today at Grand Central Station in Manhattan on National American Diabetes
“As promised in my State of the City address, we’ve launched an
aggressive campaign to target the only major health problem in our City that
is getting worse – diabetes,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “It’s
a vicious silent killer that affects more than 800,000 of our residents but
with partners like the American Diabetes Association, we can ensure that individuals
living with diabetes get the care and help they need to control the disease.
Public health is a fundamental responsibility of government, and we are going
to do everything we can to help New Yorkers live longer and healthier lives.”
“Diabetes is epidemic in New York City and has been getting worse rapidly,”
said Commissioner Frieden. “More than 500,000 New Yorkers have been diagnosed
with diabetes, which is more than double the number from only ten years ago.
Every person with diabetes should know that by controlling their diabetes through
increased physical activity, healthier nutrition, and medicines, they can feel
better, be healthier, and live longer.”
Diabetes health care costs around the country totaled $132 billion in 2002,
up from $98 billion in 1997. Despite aggressive research efforts there is no
cure in sight. Nationwide more than one million people develop the disease each
year. In addition, approximately 41 million Americans have pre-diabetes, a classification
which indicates higher than normal blood glucose (sugar) levels. Without intervention, individuals with pre-diabetes are at a much higher risk for developing diabetes. ADA’s annual “Alert Day” targets individuals who are undiagnosed
and those at risk through a public awareness campaign educating people about
diabetes risk factors and warning signs.
“With early detection and treatment, diabetes can be managed, and its
devastating complications can be prevented or delayed,” said Dr. Sheehan.
“The American Diabetes Association hopes that this Alert Day will help
people recognize and act on any diabetes risk factors and warning signs they
Individuals with type 2 diabetes can live for years without realizing that
they have the disease. While people with diabetes can exhibit noticeable symptoms,
such as frequent urination, blurred vision and excessive thirst, most people
with type 2 diabetes do not have these overt warning signs at the time they
develop the disease. Often, type 2 diabetes only becomes evident when people
develop one or more of its serious complications, such as heart disease, stroke,
kidney disease, eye damage and nerve damage that can lead to amputations. The
primary risk factors for type 2 diabetes include being overweight, sedentary,
and having a family history of diabetes. Individuals over the age of 45 and
African-Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders are
at an increased risk.
The City’s goal is to reduce the number of New Yorkers at the highest
risk for diabetes complications by 20% by the end of 2008. To reach this goal,
the City is taking several steps, including:
- • Establishing the nation’s first-ever City-based diabetes registry.
This program will enable New York City to be the first area of the country to
monitor the effectiveness of diabetes treatment for its population. An intervention
program starting in the South Bronx, where 18% of adults have diabetes, will
help doctors and patients improve care.
- • Educating more than 4,000 new mothers each year who develop gestational
diabetes, or high blood sugar that develops during pregnancy.
- • Asking all restaurants to voluntarily eliminate trans fat from their
kitchens. Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils have been chemically modified
and contain relatively high levels of trans fat, which increases risk of heart
disease, the City’s top cause of death.
The ADA is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization supporting
diabetes research, information, and advocacy. The subway campaign was created
by Buro+Creative, a marketing communications agency that designs marketing concepts
and creative campaigns for a range of international clients. The ADA also worked
with CBS Outdoor on the campaign. Posters will appear throughout the New York
City subway stations, as well as on LIRR train station platforms.
To help people better recognize their own risk for type 2 diabetes, the ADA
provides a simple, seven-question diabetes risk test. The risk test, in English
or Spanish, is available in brochure form by calling the ADA toll-free at 1-800-DIABETES
(1-800-342-2383) or can be taken online at www.diabetes.org/risk-test.
The “Are You at Risk” subway campaign also includes a call-to-action
for New Yorkers to participate in the ADA’s upcoming Tour de Cure, the
association’s premiere cycling event. There are two Tours in the Greater
New York City area. The New York City to Suburb rides takes place on June 4,
2006 at Morningside Park and the Long Island ride takes place on June 11, 2006
in Brookville. To register for the Tour de Cure, call 1-888-diabetes (342-2383)
or visit www.diabetes.org/tour.