Millions don’t know they’re at risk for diabetes
Nearly 79 million Americans are currently at risk of developing diabetes and most of them are unaware of the threat, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Researchers at the CDC found that one in three U.S. adults had a condition known as prediabetes in 2010 and only 11 percent of those were aware of their risk. People with prediabetes have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be categorized as diabetes.
Scientists at the CDC hope the report raises awareness about the risks of diabetes and how to prevent its onset.
“The vast majority of persons with prediabetes are unaware of their condition, identification and improved awareness of prediabetes are critical first steps to encourage those with prediabetes to make healthy lifestyle changes or to enroll in evidence-based, lifestyle-change programs aimed at preventing type 2 diabetes,” study authors said.
The CDC warned that those with prediabetes should lose weight and increase exercise to avoid developing Type 2 diabetes which makes up for almost 95 percent of all diabetes cases. An estimated 11 percent of prediabetics who don’t change their lifestyle will develop Type 2 diabetes within three years, the CDC said.
Complications from Type 2 diabetes can lead to heart attack, stroke and cause damage to the eyes and kidneys.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), nearly 26 million adults and children in the United States have diabetes.
Risk factors include being older than 45 years old, overweight, obese or having a family history of diabetes. It is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, according to the ADA.
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