Half Of Adults In The U.S. Have Diabetes Or Pre-Diabetes, Study Finds
A national wake up call to intensify efforts to control the obesity crisis with added focus on diet, exercise and monitoring blood sugar
According to a study published online in JAMA today, nearly 50% of adults living in the U.S. have diabetes or pre-diabetes, a condition where a person already has elevated blood sugar and is at risk to develop diabetes.
Diabetes, a condition where blood sugar is elevated, may reflect lack of production of insulin to lower blood sugar (Type 1) or insulin resistance (Type 2), generally the result of obesity, poor diet or lack of exercise leading to the metabolic syndrome.
Diabetes is a costly disease in the U.S, racking up an estimated 245 billion in 2012, related to consumption and utilization of health care resources as well as lost productivity, according to the researchers in the study. Diabetes can damage blood vessels, the eyes and kidneys, also resulting in poor wound healing and devastating soft tissue infections. And nearly 71,000 persons die annually due to complications associated with diabetes, based on recent statistics from the American Diabetes Association.
Investigators in the study defined undiagnosed diabetes as those persons having a fasting blood sugar greater than 126 mg/dl or a hemoglobin A1C > 6.5 %, a measure of long term glucose control. Pre-diabetes was defined as having a fasting blood sugar 100-125 mg/dl, or a hemoglobin A1C of 5.7-6.4%.
Researchers evaluated 5,000 patients who were part of a national survey designed to assess the prevalence of diabetes and explore trends in different subgroups and ethnicities.
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