Do You Have Diabetes And Not Even Know It?
June 15, 2006
One-third of U.S. adults -- that's 73 million people -- have diabetes or its precursor, impaired fasting glucose, according to research.
A breakdown of the numbers shows that 19 million Americans have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and one-third of them do not know they have the disease.
Another 26 percent of Americans have impaired fasting glucose, a form of pre-diabetes in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Along with an increased risk of diabetes, impaired fasting glucose raises a person's risk of heart disease.
Based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes in the nation rose from 5.1 percent from 1988-1994, to 6.5 percent from 1999-2002. When the 2.8 percent of undiagnosed cases is added in, the researchers said that a full 9.3 percent of the population has diabetes.
The researchers pointed out that type 2 diabetes is often preventable by following a healthy diet and exercising.