Knowing the risks of type 2 diabetes

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Nearly 26 million children and adults nationwide have diabetes, but 7 million of them don’t know they have it.

Tuesday is the American Diabetes Association Alert Day.

The organization is encouraging people to go on its website to take a test to see if they’re at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

There are also 79 million adults who have prediabetes, which is where your blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

You’re at a higher risk of developing type two diabetes if you’re older, overweight, less active have family history of diabetes or gestational diabetes or have high blood pressure.

Diabetes educators says it’s important to be aware of the risk factors, because diabetes is expensive.

“Studies are showing that people who have diabetes medical costs that are twice as great as those without diabetes,” said Gundersen Health System certified diabetes educator Lori Schreier.

Diabetes can cause many complications including death, blindness and heart disease.