An estimated 24 million Americans have diabetes, many undiagnosed, an increase of nearly 3 million since 2006. Ninety to 95 percent of persons with diabetes have type 2 diabetes, caused by the body’s inability to efficiently use the hormone insulin, which helps convert sugar into energy. Perhaps most striking is the incidence of type 2 diabetes in adolescents and children—2 million adolescents (or one in six overweight adolescents) aged 12–19 have pre-diabetes, and 23.5 million (or 10.7 percent of all people in this age group) have diabetes—since in the past this form of the disease has usually been seen only in adults (CDC 2007). Contributing factors to the recent epidemic of type 2 diabetes affecting people of all ages in this country are poor nutrition habits, physical inactivity, and obesity.
- High risk of developing type 2 diabetes includes (must have at least 2 risk factors):
- blood pressure is 140/90 or higher
- elevated cholesterol levels
- participates in physical activity less than two times per week
- has or had a parent or sibling with diabetes
- has been diagnosed with prediabetes
- had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy), or given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
- 45 years of age or older
Did you know...
- Almost 26 million Americans have diabetes – but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. About 79 million adults in the United State have prediabetes.
- People with prediabetes are likely to develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years, unless they take steps to prevent or delay the disease.
- Diabetes is a leading cause of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease and nerve disease.