Overall, Americans scored a 51 percent on the survey -- a failing grade.
"This is a serious disease, and something that causes a lot of deaths," McLaughlin said. "We hope the Stop Diabetes campaign will raise awareness about how important it is to be educated about diabetes and to get screened if you're at high risk."
Those in the high-risk category include people who are older than 45, are of a race other than white or have a family history of the disease. Being physically inactive or overweight are also risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst, increased urination, blurred vision, tingling in the hands and feet, fatigue, dry skin and, possibly, increased hunger, McLaughlin said.
The American Diabetes Association has more about diabetes myths.
SOURCES: Sue McLaughlin, R.D., C.D.E., president, health care and education, American Diabetes Association, Alexandria, Va.; Malika Bey, Pittsburgh; prepared statement, Frank Timmons, Rockland, Mass.; 2009 Diabetes Awareness Survey, Harris Interactive and American Diabetes Association
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