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Maryland Department of Health to provide free diabetes, blood pressure and COVID resources at CIAA Fan Fest

February 23rd, 2023 by WCBC Radio

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) will provide free diabetes and hypertension assessment resources along with at-home COVID-19 tests at the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Fan Fest on Friday, Feb. 24 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 25 from 12 noon to 8 p.m. at the Baltimore Convention Center. The event is part of the 2023 CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament featuring Historically Black Colleges and Universities. 

“Diabetes continues to have a deep and lasting impact on the Black community in Maryland,” said Mark Martin, Director of the MDH Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities. “The resources we’re providing at this year’s CIAA Fan Fest will help people – especially people of color – better understand the risk factors of prediabetes and get information to help prevent the deadly condition in themselves and members of their families.”

Visitors to the MDH booth can learn about and take the one-minute “Know Your Risk” online quiz that assesses their risk of prediabetes and receive information to help fight high blood pressure and other diabetes risk factors. MDH will also hand out free at-home COVID-19 test kits to attendees to highlight the link between diabetes and severe complications from COVID-19.

The MDH “Know Your Risk” campaign encourages Marylanders to understand their risk and take action against prediabetes. The campaign supports prevention goals outlined in the state’s Diabetes Action Plan, a multi-faceted strategy to address diabetes. People who aren’t able to attend this weekend’s Fan Fest can take the one-minute prediabetes test online.

According to the Maryland Behavioral Risk Surveillance System, 11.2% of adults in Maryland have diabetes (nearly 500,000) and 38% have prediabetes (approximately 1.8 million). Maryland is consistently among the 25 states with the highest diabetes prevalence rates. Non-Hispanic Black adults (14.1%) are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than White adults (10.2%). MDH continues to look for innovative ways to reach people at greater risk for diabetes and prediabetes.