Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and the American Diabetes Association today announced that award-winning artist Tim McGraw, who has loved ones impacted by type 2 diabetes, will travel the country to urge people with the disease to get their blood glucose under control.
Together, they are launching America’s Diabetes Challenge: Get to Your Goals, an educational program that encourages people with type 2 diabetes to work with their doctor to set and reach their A1C, their average blood glucose level over the past 2 to 3 months. Through the program, people living with type 2 diabetes can also learn if they are at risk of low blood glucose, known as hypoglycemia, and how to help reduce that risk. McGraw is challenging people with type 2 diabetes to take the challenge and make a pledge to get to goal with the support of those who care for them.
“I’ve seen first-hand how diabetes impacts people from all walks of life, including my family, friends and fans. I’m a strong believer in making healthy choices, which is why I’m teaming up with Merck and the American Diabetes Association on America’s Diabetes Challenge,” said McGraw. “I’ve learned that about one-third of adults living with diabetes are not at their A1C goal. I want to change that statistic, so I’m encouraging all Americans to join me. If you have type 2 diabetes, take the challenge and pledge to work with your doctor to set and reach your A1C goal. And, if you’re like me and know someone living with type 2 diabetes, challenge them to work with their doctor to get to their goal. Together, we can make a difference.”
People with type 2 diabetes can help reduce their risk of serious complications by setting individual goals to help manage the ABCs of diabetes —A for A1C, also known as blood glucose, B for blood pressure and C for cholesterol.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes have an individualized A1C goal; the A1C goal for many adults with diabetes is less than 7 percent. However, a higher or lower goal may be appropriate for some people. High blood glucose levels over time can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, lower limb amputations, stroke and nerve problems. That is why, according to the American Diabetes Association, it is so important for people with diabetes to know their A1C and to work with their doctor to set and reach a goal that is right for them.
“The American Diabetes Association is committed to raising awareness of diabetes and to providing relevant resources to help people with the disease,” said David G. Marrero, PhD, President, Health Care & Education, American Diabetes Association. “We know how difficult it can be for the millions living with diabetes to get to their A1C goal, which is why we’re excited to be part of America’s Diabetes Challenge, a program that addresses this issue with the aim of making a difference in the lives of people with type 2 diabetes and those who have loved ones with the disease.”
Many people with type 2 diabetes are aware of the importance of controlling high blood glucose by diet, exercise, and taking medicine (if prescribed), but they may not know that blood glucose can also go too low. Hypoglycemia can make people feel shaky, dizzy, sweaty and sometimes faint. If left untreated, hypoglycemia may lead to a seizure or loss of consciousness. Many people with type 2 diabetes know that hypoglycemia can be caused by skipping meals or exercising excessively, but what they may not know is that certain diabetes medicines can also cause blood glucose it to go too low. People living with type 2 diabetes should talk to their doctor to learn if they are at risk of hypoglycemia and how they can help reduce their risk. They may need to talk to their doctor about making changes to their treatment plan, including diet, exercise, and diabetes medicine, if appropriate.
“At Merck, we’re dedicated to helping people with type 2 diabetes achieve better blood glucose control, and we recognize the important role that a support system plays when it comes to managing this disease,” said Arpa Garay, U.S. marketing leader, Diabetes Franchise, Merck. “By collaborating with the American Diabetes Association and Tim McGraw, we look forward to empowering people with type 2 diabetes to work with their doctor to develop a treatment plan that will help them reach their A1C goal and maintain that goal over time. We’re also committed to helping people learn if they are at risk of hypoglycemia and how to help reduce that risk.”
For more information about America’s Diabetes Challenge, to make the pledge to work with your doctor to set and reach your own A1C goal or to challenge loved ones to do the same, visit www.AmericasDiabetesChallenge.com. You can also join the America’s Diabetes Challenge community by visiting Facebook.com/AmericasDiabetesChallenge.