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Randy Jackson and the American Heart Association Educate Raleigh Area Residents About the Connection Between Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease

RALEIGH, N.C., March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Randy Jackson, music industry veteran and TV personality, is coming to Raleigh to help raise awareness among the local community about type 2 diabetes and its connection to 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. More than 543,000 people in North Carolina have been diagnosed with diabetes; and according to 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 be healthier. I am now 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 Janet Puryear, a local resident of Raleigh-Durham, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes several years ago. Puryear 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.

"Finding out that I had type 2 diabetes hit me like a ton of bricks because my father, mother, oldest brother, two aunts and six uncles passed away from complications associated with the disease," noted Puryear. "As a result, I thought being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes was a death sentence. But it isn't. My physician educated me about the roles diet and exercise play in improving my overall health and enabling me to take control over my disease. I refuse to let type 2 diabetes take another member of my family."

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

According to Michael S. Cuffe, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs, Duke University Health System, "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 them to get 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 and for educational resources and 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 American Heart Association
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