Monday, 10 June 2013

Millions on Verge of Diabetes Don't Know It

THURSDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- Only 11 percent of the estimated 79 million Americans who are at risk for diabetes know they are at risk, federal health officials reported Thursday.
The condition, known as prediabetes, describes higher-than-normal blood sugar levels that put people in danger of developing diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We have a huge issue with the small number of people who know they have it. It's up a bit from when we measured it last, but it's still abysmally low," said report author Ann Albright, director of the CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation.
"We need people to understand their risk and take action if they are at risk for diabetes," Albright said. "We know how to prevent type 2 diabetes, or at least delay it, so there are things people can do, but the first step is knowing what your risk is -- to know if you have prediabetes."
Things that put people at risk for prediabetes include being overweight or obese, being physically inactive and not eating a healthy diet, Albright said. These people should see their doctor and have their blood sugar levels checked, she said.
There is also a genetic component, Albright said, which is why having a family history of diabetes is another risk factor. "Your genetics loads the gun, then your lifestyle pulls the trigger," she said.
According to the report, published in the March 22 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the lack of awareness of prediabetes was the same across the board, regardless of income, education, health insurance or access to health care.
One expert found the numbers troubling.
"People don't know about prediabetes, they don't exercise, they don't eat appropriate foods and we are going to have many more diabetics in the near future than we have now," said Dr. Spyros Mezitis, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
The danger of prediabetes is that it can progress to full-blown diabetes, with all the complications that condition entails, including heart, kidney, circulation and vision problems.
Albright noted that 30 percent or more of those with prediabetes will develop diabetes over the course of a decade.
The number of Americans with diabetes is already staggering. According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million children and adults in the United States -- 8.3 percent of the population -- have diabetes.
"The good news is we know there are things you can do to prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes," Albright said. "You can prevent or delay diabetes if you lose 5 percent to 7 percent of your body weight and get 150 minutes of physical activity a week."
Another expert said it starts with what you eat.
Eating a healthy diet that limits sugars and carbohydrates is important, said Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.
Exercise and diet can reduce the risk of diabetes by about 58 percent, he said, and "giving the drug metformin can reduce the risk by 31 percent. Lifestyle changes, together with metformin, which the American Diabetes Association recommends for prediabetes, will be very effective.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Diabetes cases continue to climb in Georgia

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The number of Georgians with diabetes continues to rise, jumping 145 percent from 1995 to 2010, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study.
In Georgia, 9.8 percent of residents said they had diabetes in 2010, compared with 4.0 percent in 1995, said Linda Geiss, lead author of the study, released Thursday.
Only Oklahoma and Kentucky saw a bigger jump in the number of cases during that 15-year period, according to the study.
Geiss said Southern states overall have the highest rates of diabetes in the nation because of residents’ sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits.
Diabetes is a chronic disease resulting from the body’s inability to process sugar. It is the nation’s seventh-leading cause of death, according to the CDC. It’s also a leading cause of kidney failure, nontraumatic lower-limb amputations, new cases of blindness, heart disease and stroke, according to the CDC.
The new study is based on telephone surveys of at least 1,000 adults in each state in 1995 and 2010.
Mississippi had the highest obesity rate and the highest diabetes rate, the CDC reported. Nearly 12 percent of Mississippians say they have diabetes, compared with the national average of 7 percent.
“Unfortunately, people are still eating too much and exercising too little,” said Michael Gault, executive director of the American Diabetes Association for the Atlanta region. His organization offers numerous programs to raise awareness of the disease and to help people who have contracted diabetes.
The association’s Tour de Cure bike ride attracted Scott Dube, who has Type 2 diabetes, which may be prevented through lifestyle changes and accounts for 90 percent to 95 percent of U.S. cases.
Dube, 51, of Kennesaw was diagnosed in 1986 during a routine physical. He has ridden in the diabetes association’s annual bike rides for many years.
Having diabetes has caused him to make better life choices, Dube said. “It’s a struggle. But it’s not a thing that should just keep you down and out.”
Dube made the necessary lifestyle changes, including cycling and other exercise and changes to his diet.
“It starts with your mind-set,” he said. “You have to be positive and aggressive to fight it.”
For more information on diabetes, go to, which is part of a partnership of the CDC and the National Institutes of Health that provides resources to improve the treatment and outcomes of people with the disease, promotes early diagnosis, and works to prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes.