Hip-Hop Artist Rev. Run: Get Screened For Diabetes

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DETROIT, (UPI) —  East Coast hip-hop artist Rev. Run of the group Run-D.M.C. says it’s critical for Americans to be screened for diabetes because knowledge is power.

“If you don’t get screened, you don’t know. What you don’t know, you cannot fix,” he told The Detroit News before appearing at Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple church Sunday as part of a nationwide tour sponsored by Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, which makes diabetes care equipment and medicines.

Run, whose real name is Joseph Ward Simmons, began using the Rev. Run stage name after he was ordained a Pentecostal minister.

“We truly believe prevention is the best prescription,” Giesha Stevens, executive director of Greater Grace Temple’s outreach arm, told the newspaper.

Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases involving high blood sugar, either because the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or because cells don’t respond to the insulin that’s produced.

The Institute for Alternative Futures non-profit research organization in Alexandria, Va., projected the growing prevalence and rising cost of diabetes in the United States from 2010 through 2025.

A breakdown from the group can be found at altfutures.com/diabetes2025.

In Michigan, the prevalence is expected to rise 42 percent by 2025 from 2010, with the medical and indirect societal cost projected to rise to $16 billion from $10.6 billion in 2010, the study indicated.

This has implications for cities such as Detroit with large numbers of African Americans, the newspaper said.

African Americans are nearly twice as likely as whites to develop the condition than whites, the American Diabetes Association says.

The risk for everyone generally rises once they turn 45.

Those factors, along with his father having diabetes, pushed Simmons, a Novo Nordisk “ambassador,” to speak out, he told the News.

“I was one of those people … afraid to get the screening,” he said. “Then what touched me most was when I started thinking about my kids, my wife.”

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