More than 100 million American have prediabetes or diabetes – and though diagnoses are beginning to level off, that’s still a staggering number.

The question is, are you one of the 100 million? The Community Education department at Rapides Regional Medical Center is holding its annual Diabetes Alert Day so you can find out!

The free event will take place Tuesday, March 26 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the HP Long Clinic on Hospital Boulevard/Main Street in Pineville. 

Participants will be asked to complete a short questionnaire, then have their blood pressure and blood glucose measured, as well as height and weight assessments to calculate their BMI.  Educational and nutritional information will also be available.

The screenings are free and no reservation is needed.

“We’ve held this screening for several years now, but this year we wanted to take advantage of the convenience provided by the HP Long Clinic building in Pineville,” said Theresa Hood, RNC, BSN, MS, director of community education at Rapides Regional Medical Center. “Our goal is to help men and women – young and old – who may not realize they have a problem with their blood glucose levels. Diabetes is a disease that affects the entire body, especially when you don’t know you have it.”

This screening is held in conjunction with the American Diabetes Association’s annual Alert Day, a one-day "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. (Look for a diabetes risk assessment at

Diabetes remains the leading cause of kidney failure and blindness in people between the ages of 20-74 years old.  Other major diabetic complications include heart disease, stroke, amputations, and diabetic ulcers and wounds. 

Some of the major risk factors for diabetes include being overweight or obese, being physically inactive, having a parent or sibling with diabetes, and having a history of gestational diabetes.  Statistically, nearly 16 percent of adults with diabetes were smokers, nearly 90 percent were overweight and more than 40 percent were physically inactive.

But pre-diabetes is a concern as well.

“When you have pre-diabetes, your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be classified as Type 2 diabetes,” Hood said. “But without weight loss, healthy eating and an increase in physical activity, many of those with pre-diabetes will develop the Type 2 disease.”

For more information about Sound the Alert Day, call (318) 769-3445.