KENILWORTH, N.J., April 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Merck (NYSE: MRK), 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."
Tim McGraw, who is gearing up for his latest tour, has sold more than 40 million records worldwide and dominated the charts with 36 #1 singles. He has won three Grammy Awards, 16 Academy of Country Music Awards, 14 Country Music Association Awards, 10 American Music Awards, three People's Choice Awards and numerous other honors. His iconic career achievements include being named the Broadcast Data Systems (BDS) Most Played Artist of the Decade for all music genres.
About America's Diabetes Challenge: Get to Your Goals
America's Diabetes Challenge: Get to Your Goals is an educational program from Merck and the American Diabetes Association urging people with type 2 diabetes to work with their doctor to set and reach their individual A1C goal. The program also helps people with type 2 diabetes learn if they are at risk of low blood glucose and how to help reduce that risk. As part of Merck's partnership with the American Diabetes Association, and to further support the millions of Americans living with type 2 diabetes, America's Diabetes Challenge will be featured at American Diabetes Association EXPOs and Live Empowered and Feria de Salud events throughout the U.S. 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 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.
About Type 2 Diabetes
Nearly 30 million Americans have diabetes, and 90% to 95% of these people have type 2 diabetes. When someone has type 2 diabetes, the body does not make enough insulin and/or the insulin that the body makes does not work properly. This causes blood glucose levels to become too high, and the body may also keep making glucose even though it does not need it. Once a person has type 2 diabetes, it does not go away, and high blood glucose levels over time can lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease and stroke.
About the American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. For the past 75 years, our mission has been to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.
Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
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