How common has diabetes become?

Is it diagnosed on time?

How serious is it among Americans?

CBS news reports on diabetes in the United States. New statistics show that fifty percent of Americans have diabetes today.

Researchers are saying that up to 14 percent of adults had diagnosed or undiagnosed type 2 diabetes in 2011-2012, and about 38 percent had diagnosed or undiagnosed pre-diabetes. What is pre-diabetes? Experts say pre-diabetes is defined as having elevated blood sugar levels that are not high enough to be called full-blown diabetes.

Researcher, Catherine Cowie, is the program director of the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases' division of diabetes, endocrinology and metabolic diseases. She led the study.

“About one-third of those Americans with type 2 diabetes don't know they have it, and most of those with prediabetes are unaware of their condition, the study authors said. For these adults, the findings should be a wake up call to get treatment and make lifestyle changes that include losing weight and being more active,” according to Cowie.

Some experts find that one of the main problems with diabetes and diabetics is that sometimes physicians miss it and diabetics are not getting treated. Diabetes is generally known as a disease that can be treated, but only if it is diagnosed. Cowie has been stressing the fact that the medical community needs to be aware that there is a high rate of undiagnosed diabetes in the population.

What causes type 2 diabetes?

Physicians say it is generally caused by obesity, lack of exercise and poor eating habits. The new report was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

How was the study conducted?

Cowie and her colleagues found that the prevalence and trends in type 2 diabetes and undiagnosed diabetes using information from U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys.

“According to the report, of the slightly more than 14 percent of adults with type 2 diabetes, 9 percent had been diagnosed with the condition and just over 5 percent remained undiagnosed. In addition, 38 percent of adults had prediabetes, but more than 36 percent remained undiagnosed,” according to CBS news.

Diabetes has become quite common among Caucasian people but even more common among other groups. Researchers found that among blacks, the prevalence of diabetes was almost 22 percent, among Asians it was close to 21 percent, and among Hispanics it was more than 22 percent. The highest number of cases of undiagnosed diabetics was among Asians and Hispanics.

Dr. William Herman, who is a professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor and co-author of an accompanying journal editorial commented on the findings. He said, “The doubling in the rate of obesity in the U.S. between 1980 and 2000 was followed 10 years later by a dramatic increase in the rate of type 2 diabetes.” Experts are calling for a lasting change in societal ways in terms of eating healthier and exercising. It is also important that people get regular check ups and that physicians do full patient check ups to check for diabetes.

Read the source article here.

Gerry Oginski
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