A recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the number of Americans with diabetes continues to rise, with over 12 percent of the adult population estimated to have the disease, and more than a third of those aged 20 and over in the U.S. now thought to have prediabetes.
“Diabetes is costly in both human and economic terms,” says Dr. Ann Allbright, director of the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “It’s urgent that we take swift action to effectively treat and prevent this serious disease.”
Diabetes, which results in the abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood and urine, is the seventh leading cause of death in North Carolina. An estimated 2.5 million, or one in three, North Carolinians may have prediabetes. Without lifestyle changes to improve their health, 15-30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.
Approximately 750,000 (1 in 10) North Carolina adults have been diagnosed with diabetes, while an additional 280,000 North Carolina residents may have diabetes and not know it.
Type 2 diabetes accounts for over 90 percent of diagnosed cases in adults. Being overweight/obese is a key risk factor to its development.
Complications from diabetes can include amputations, chronic kidney disease, heart attack/stroke, vision loss, hearing loss, erectile dysfunction, low birth weight, sleep apnea and possibly Alzheimer’s disease. Sixty percent of all non-traumatic lower-limb amputations among people aged 20 years or older occur in people with diagnosed diabetes.
The precise cause of the disease remains a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors appear to play roles.
The different types of diabetes include prediabetes, Type 1 (juvenile diabetes), Type 2 (the most common), and gestational diabetes, which…