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Our elders called it sugar, but doctors call it fatal. Diabetes is killing African Americans at an alarming rate, but we’re not talking about it enough. On Thursday, Carolinas Healthcare System partnered with the YMCA of Greater Charlotte to bring community leaders together to find ways to spread the word about their partnership to fight diabetes.

The two organizations are trying to get 50,000 adults to assess their risk for diabetes. The goal is to identify 10,000 people who are at higher risk and offer them preventive services and/or treatment. The YMCA will have screening and information sessions at branches throughout the city at least through May. Take the online quiz here to see if you are at risk.

“Prevention is the power of taking action, but education is the key,” said Debra Plousha Moore, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer.

The information presented on Tuesday was staggering. Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, stroke and heart attack. Nearly 80 million Americans have pre-diabetes. Eight percent of all Americans have diabetes; 1 in 4 people who has diabetes doesn’t know it. Diabetes kills more than AIDS.

As Carolina Healthcare System’s Dr. Mike Fite put it, “People are living with HIV and dying with diabetes.”

Diabetes Is Killing Us More Than AIDS  was originally published on