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Cases of diabetes continue to increase in the nation

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A report released today shows that over 29 million people in the United States have diabetes and according the data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four of those with the disease do not know they have it.

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As dire as these numbers sound, it only gets worse when projections into the future of the disease in the United States are made.

Now is the time to take action. If these numbers continue to rise, 1 in 5 people could have diabetes by the year 2025, and it could be 1 in 3 people by the year 2050," said Ann Albright, PhD, RD - Director, Division of Diabetes Translation, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. "We simply can’t sustain this trajectory – the implications are far too great – for our families, our healthcare system, our workforce, our nation.

Fueling this increase is what is referred to as prediabetes, a condition where individuals show blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be considered in the diabetic range. For these individuals, life style changes can help reduce the chance of developing diabetes or at the least delay the onset of the disease. The importance of recognizing prediabetic conditions and taking steps to counter the effects cannot be over stated.

The sooner people find out they have prediabetes and take action, the better their chances of preventing type 2 diabetes,Albright said.

Data from the report showed:

  • 29 million people in the United States (9.3 percent) have diabetes.
  • 1.7 million people aged 20 years or older were newly diagnosed with diabetes in 2012.
  • Non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native adults are about twice as likely to have diagnosed diabetes as non-Hispanic white adults.
  • 208,000 people younger than 20 years have been diagnosed with diabetes (type 1 or type 2).
  • 86 million adults aged 20 years and older have prediabetes.

“These new numbers are alarming and underscore the need for an increased focus on reducing the burden of diabetes in our country,” Albright said. “Diabetes is costly in both human and economic terms. It’s urgent that we take swift action to effectively treat and prevent this serious disease.”

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