ALEXANDRIA, LA. - More than 100 million Americans have prediabetes or diabetes - but the big question is, are you one of the 100 million?

The Community Education department at Rapides Regional Medical Center has joined with the Alexandria Museum of Art to provide a free diabetes event on Saturday, Feb. 15, from 2:00pm to 3:00pm at AMOA.

This is part of the AMOA Healthy Living program that includes Qi Gong, monthly yoga for kids and weekly yoga for adults. The program also includes educational classes on health-related topics. And, all of the Healthy Living programs are free.

The diabetes workshop will include information on how to prevent, recognize and deal with symptoms related to diabetes and pre-diabetes.

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," said Amie Starks, RN, BSN, community education nurse. "But without weight loss, healthy eating and an increase in physical activity, many of those with pre-diabetes will develop Type 2 disease."

For more information about the event, call (318) 769-3135.