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Randy Jackson and the American Heart Association Educate Minneapolis Area about the Connection between Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease

MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Randy Jackson, music industry veteran and TV personality, is coming to Minneapolis to help raise awareness among the local community about type 2 diabetes and its connection with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Jackson partnered with the American Heart Association to speak on behalf of a national campaign, The Heart of Diabetes(TM), to help those living with type 2 diabetes manage the disease and reduce the risk of associated complications. Approximately 320,000 Minnesotans, or 8.2 percent of the state population, currently have diabetes; and according to national estimates, two-thirds of them will die of CVD, such as heart attack or stroke.

"When I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I thought, 'Wow, I have a serious disease,'" Jackson said. "After taking a hard look at my life choices and lifestyle habits, I knew it was time to make a change to lead a healthier lifestyle. Now I am living proof that type 2 diabetes can be managed. There isn't a magic cure for the disease, and it's not always easy, but I believe everyone has the potential to take charge and manage the disease in his or her own way in order to live a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life."

Through the campaign's Web site,, Jackson shares more of his story about living with type 2 diabetes and offers tips to help manage the disease. The Web site also features Barbara Johnson, a long-time resident of Chanhassen, MN, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a little over a year ago. Johnson was one of three individuals selected by the American Heart Association to appear in a public service announcement with Jackson, which aims to increase awareness about the link between type 2 diabetes and CVD, and encourage people living with the disease to work with their healthcare provider to find an appropriate treatment plan.

"After finding out I had type 2 diabetes, my life became an emotional rollercoaster. I blamed myself for not eating properly and never taking time out of my busy schedule to see a doctor. My advice to someone just diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is to accept that you have the disease, forgive yourself for it and face it head on," noted Johnson. "While managing this disease takes time, it's important to keep your mind and spirit positive and hopeful. Keep moving and work with your healthcare team to find the solutions that work for you."

Johnson's advice is echoed in the tips and educational information created by Jackson and the American Heart Association to help those living with type 2 diabetes successfully control the disease.

According to Dr. Russell Luepker of the University of Minnesota, "People living with type 2 diabetes often need a comprehensive solution that involves appropriate lifestyle changes and proper medication management. The Heart of Diabetes campaign encourages people to engage in regular physical activity and eat a healthy diet to help prevent the associated cardiovascular risks common in people living with the disease."
Tips available on include:

-- Keep active and maintain a healthy body weight. Even 30 minutes of

moderate physical activity five days a week can help prevent diabetes,

reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, maintain a healthy body weight

and minimize risk of cardiovascular disease.

-- Normalize your numbers. Schedule regular visits with your doctor to

help monitor your blood sugar and manage your diabetes. It has been

shown that you can reduce cardiovascular disease by improving your

blood sugar control and controlling other risk factors. Learn to keep

track of your critical health numbers, including blood pressure,

cholesterol, body weight and blood sugar.

-- Opt for a healthy lifestyle. Eat a healthy, balanced diet and reduce

intake of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and added

sugars. Also, if you smoke, opt to quit -- smoking increases the risk

of cardiovascular disease.

-- Work with your doctor. People living with type 2 diabetes often need

multiple approaches to treatment to control the disease and its

associated risks. If you live with type 2 diabetes, it is important to

talk with your doctor, describe your symptoms and be persistent until

you find treatment options and lifestyle changes that work for you.

Visit to share your personal experience with type 2 diabetes, access additional educational resources and get more information about The Heart of Diabetes campaign.

The American Heart Association's The Heart of Diabetes(TM) campaign is supported by an educational grant from Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.

About the American Heart Association

Founded in 1924, the American Heart Association today is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. These diseases, America's No. 1 and No. 3 killers, and all other cardiovascular diseases claim over 870,000 lives a year. In fiscal year 2005-06 the association invested over $543 million in research, professional and public education, advocacy and community service programs to help all Americans live longer, healthier lives. To learn more, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit

SOURCE The American Heart Association
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