When single mom Sherronda Jamerson heard about RISE, a research study for people who are at high risk of developing diabetes, she knew she needed to take action.
"Diabetes is nothing to play with. It is extremely real," said Jamerson. "It affects every part of your body. It is a disease you don't want to have."
Jamerson has three of the risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes: She has a family history, had gestational diabetes during pregnancy and is African-American. Other risk factors include older age, obesity, impaired glucose tolerance and physical inactivity. In addition to African-Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians and some Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders are at a high risk for Type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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After a short phone assessment, the RISE study determined Jamerson was a good candidate and invited her in for a simple screening, which is a blood test to check glucose levels. The screening showed she had prediabetes.
The study is looking for participants between the age of 20 and 65 who have prediabetes or who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes within the last 12 months and are not already on glucose-lowering therapy. The study also screens individuals who have risk factors for prediabetes, but who do not yet know they have this condition that makes them at high risk to subsequently develop diabetes.
Now a participant in the study, Jamerson receives treatment and education about prevention.
"I've taken a lot of the sugar out of my diet. I have natural sugars, fruits and vegetables," she said "I also incorporate exercise. I am a busy, single parent, so I climb the stairs every day at work – that is how I get my exercise in."
Maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy and engaging in physical activity are simple steps that help lower risk. Jamerson says that she has already noticed a difference: She has more energy, sleeps better and is in a better mood.
"If I can prevent diabetes, then making these little changes in my life will be worth it. I want to be around for my kids," she said.
For more information about the RISE study, contact the Diabetes Research Group at 206.764.2788 or visit
To learn more about diabetes, or to make an appointment with a primary care physician, call 855.520.5151.