Dozens screened for diabetesPublished 10:37pm Tuesday, March 26, 2013
The opportunity for a finger prick and blood pressure check normally don’t get a lot of folks excited, but people lined up for the free diabetes screenings held at the Suffolk Family YMCA Tuesday afternoon.
Most of the dozens of folks who came for the screening either have diabetes already or know they are at risk for it.
“It runs in my family,” said Okey Igbonagwam. “I wanted to make sure I’m not going there yet.”
The screenings were part of Diabetes Alert Day, sponsored by the American Diabetes Association. The medical tests were conducted by Eastern Virginia Medical School and Bon Secours Hampton Roads Health System.
Screeners drew blood from a finger stick to check each participant’s A1C — a measure of average blood sugar over the last few months, it is one of the best indicators of diabetic status — as well as cholesterol and blood glucose, a “point-in-time” blood sugar measure that is another indicator of diabetes. Each participant’s blood pressure was also checked.
High blood pressure and high cholesterol are risk factors for diabetes.
Judith Gardner said she came to the screening because she is already diabetic and wanted to see where her numbers are.
“I just wanted to get my A1C checked,” she said. She has been diabetic for about five years and controls it with diet and medication.
Robin Kantor with the American Diabetes Association said the screenings received good response.
“We really have been nonstop since we got here,” she said around 3 p.m. The screenings began at 2 and lasted until 7, and she expected a busier time later in the day. A total of 50 people eventually showed up, she said later in the night.
Those who missed the screenings can still learn about their risk by visiting www.diabetes.org/risktest to take a free test that asks about risk factors such as age, race, gender, family history, weight and more.