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Event aimed reducing diabetes risks

Diabetes is the leading cause of disease and death in the United States and an event on Monday was geared at raising awareness and fostering prevention.

A health fair, organized by the Ironton Lions Club, took place at the Ironton City Center, an event organized annually by the group.

“One in 11 Americans have diabetes,” Dr. William Basedow said. “That’s 29 million people, and another 86 million are at high risk of developing type II diabetes.”

He said the event was aimed at promoting healthy living, as part of American Diabetes Month.

“If you are overweight, have high blood pressure or are 45 or older, you are at risk of developing diabetes,” Basedow said. “The good news is you can greatly lower your risk and reduce risk by losing weight, eating healthy and engaging in physical activity.”

The event featured booths from Patriot EMS, Unger Shoes, the Area Agency on Aging, the Ironton Health Department, Genesis Home Health Care and others.

Our Lady of Bellefonte to offered hemoglobin A1C tests, which provide the overall number of sugar an individual has over the past three months, Basedow said.

Ironton Mayor Katrina Keith was one of those on hand to get tested.

“I got my blood taken, and I had great results,” she said.

Basedow said diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the U.S., something the Lions Club has focused on since Helen Keller, in 1927, established the Knights against Blindness and the Crusade Against Darkness.

For those seeking more information, Basedow said OLBH will offer a free program, starting Jan. 10, which will meet for classes once a week for 16 weeks.