26 Million With Diabetes And 79 Million With Pre-Diabetes, Our Healthy Future Is Questioned

in environment, medicine

Diabetes is creeping faster in to our society.  Americans may be living longer, but that does not mean that they are going to be healthy.  According to the new statistics released by Center for Diseases Control (CDC),  there are 26 million Americans with diabetes and 79 million have prediabetes.

Prediabetes increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke, which means we will have many more diabetics in this country than 26 million, in the near future and that is likely to increase.   According to CDC, 1 in 3 adults will be diabetic by the year 2030. If we extrapolate to the context of a family, in a family of four, there could be one or more individuals with diabetes! As we age chances of getting diabetes rise, and almost 27% of people age 65 years and older had diabetes in 2010.

Diabetes affects 8.3% of all Americans and 11.3% of adults age 20 and older. Some 27% of people with diabetes – 7 million Americans – do not know they have the disease. In 2010, 1.9 million Americans were first diagnosed with diabetes.

Prediabetes affects 35% of adults age 20 and older, and half of Americans age 65 and older. Prediabetes is a condition in which blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

As in previous years, disparities exist among ethnic groups and minority populations including Native Americans, blacks and Hispanics. Rates of diagnosed diabetes include:

  • Native Americans and Alaska Natives (16.1%)
  • Blacks (12.6%)
  • Hispanics (11.8%)

Among Hispanics, rates include:

  • Puerto Ricans (13.8%)
  • Mexican Americans (13.3%)
  • Cubans and Central and South Americans (7.6%)

Women who develop diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes) have a 35% to 60% chance of developing type 2 diabetes in the next 10 to 20 years.

Type I diabetes is mostly autoimmune and becomes insulin dependent soon after diagnosis.  Type II diabetes, in most cases, is initially controlled by a combination of drug, diet and exercise.   Type I diabetes constitutes only a small fraction of all those with diabetes.  Type II diabetes incidence may be delayed  by proper diet and exercise.   Clinical trials have shown that losing 5 to 7 percent of body weight – that's 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person – and getting at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by nearly 60 percent in those at high risk for developing the disease.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death.  Diabetes patients are at  increased risk for stroke and heart disease, blindness and kidney failure. 

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