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Nearly 21 Million People in U.S. Have Diabetes — A 14 % Jump Since 2002

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Devastating news on the diabetes front.

About 20.8 million Americans – or 7 percent of the U.S. population – now have diabetes, with more than 6 million of them unaware that they have the disease, according to the latest prevalence data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This disease just keeps spreading.

Indeed, a mere three years ago, when the CDC last tallied the number of people with diabetes, the figure was 18.2 million Americans. In other words, today, another 2.6 million people now have this disease.

Or, to put it another way, the incidence of diabetes has risen by more than 14 percent in a mere three years!

Furthermore, another 41 million people are estimated to have pre-diabetes, a condition that increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes – the most common form of the disease – as well as heart disease and stroke.

This is absolutely horrifying. I hope it serves as an effective wake-up call to couch-potato, exercise-ignoring Americans, who have packed on excess pounds, eat horribly and take a nonchalant approach towards their health.

If you can avoid diabetes, then by all means do so! (Please read on…)

Bear in mind that diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

After all, diabetes is a leading cause of adult blindness, lower-limb amputation, kidney disease and nerve damage, warns Dr. Frank Vinicor, director of CDC’s diabetes program.

"Two-thirds of people with diabetes die from a heart attack or stroke,” he adds.

The American Diabetes Association also jumped to issue a press release, noting that these new stats "highlight the growing diabetes epidemic in the United States and reinforce the need for increased research and prevention."

The CDC reports the following highlights:

  • 20.8 million people — 7 % of the population — have diabetes. (Diagnosed: 14.6 million people; Undiagnosed: 6.2 million people). Aged 20 years or older – 20.6 million or 9.6 % of all people in this age group have diabetes. Aged 60 years or older – 10.3 million or 20.9 % of all people in this age roup have diabetes.
  • "Diabetes continues to be the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
  • "In 2005, 1.5 million people aged 20 years or older will be newly diagnosed with diabetes.
  • "Compared to non-Hispanic whites, diabetes continues to be more common (1.7 to 2.2 times more common) among American Indians and Alaska Natives, non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanic/Latino Americans, and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
  • "The risk of diabetes increases with age. About 21 percent of Americans aged 60 years or older have diabetes. This compares to approximately 2 percent for people 20 to 39 years old and about 10 percent for those aged 40-59 years.
  • "The United States spends approximately $132 billion each year on diabetes – $92 billion in direct medical costs and another $40 billion each year in indirect costs because of missed work days or other losses in productivity.

For more figures, get the 2005 National Diabetes Fact Sheet here.

What’s important to remember is that if you have pre-diabetes, you may be able to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes just by losing 5 percent to 7 percent of your body weight, the CDC’s Dr. Vinicor said.

Of course, this means it’s important to start exercising, too.

And, as I often point out here, it can be absolutely invaluable to cut back or cut out your intake of sweets and simple carbs and start getting more fruits and vegetables, as well as high quality protein and fats. Both eating healthily and getting physical activity are vital preventive tactics to take.

If you don’t have diabetes yet, then please take care of yourself now!

Need some help to fight off pre-diabetes? Join my free, online KickSugar support group. (If you act soon, before Nov. 1, you’ll get complimentary membership to my 21-day, kick-sugar countdown, which begins Jan. 5.)

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