Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States.
According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014 (released in June of 2014), in 2012:
29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, had diabetes.
(Of those, most were type 2 diabetes, which is largely preventable. Only 1.25 million were type 1 diabetes.)
Of the 29.1 million, 21.0 million were diagnosed, and 8.1 million were undiagnosed — meaning over 8 million Americans have diabetes and don’t know it!
In 2012, there were 1.9 million new diagnoses of diabetes.
What’s even more astounding is that in 2012, 86 million Americans age 20 and older had prediabetes.
Combining the 29.1 million Americans with diabetes and the 86 million Americans with prediabetes, that’s over 115 million Americans — more than one out of every three US citizens — whose health is at serious risk.
Simply put, diabetes is a metabolic disease in which the body is unable to produce (or use) enough insulin, which causes elevated levels of glucose in the blood. Over time, this buildup causes damage to your heart, kidneys, eyes, nerves and other organs. Diabetes can wreak havoc on the human body, and the disease is largely preventable.
The primary risk factor for TYPE 1 DIABETES, which starts in childhood, is a family history of diabetes.
The primary risk factors for TYPE 2 DIABETES include all of the following:
- Obesity or being overweight
- Sedentary lifestyle
- High blood pressure
- Low levels of good cholesterol and/or high triglycerides
- Family history of diabetes
- History of gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant)
- History of polycystic ovary syndrome (in women)
- Impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose (prediabetes)
- Insulin resistance
- Age, especially if you’re over 45 and overweight
- Ethnic background (higher rates of diabetes occur in Hispanic/Latino-Americans, African-Americans, Native Americans, Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Alaska Natives)
If you’re at risk for diabetes or think you may already have diabetes or prediabetes, you should schedule an appointment to have your blood sugar tested as soon as possible.
The endocrinologists at Palm Beach Diabetes & Endocrine Specialists, PA (PBDES) specialize in treating diabetes, prediabetes, and all types of thyroid disorders. Our physicians are board-certified in endocrinology and metabolism and have extensive clinical practice, research, and teaching experience. Contact one of our four southeast Florida offices today — in West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Jupiter or Wellington.