Diabetes Affects 26 Million in US: CDC

By Jack Phillips
Epoch Times Staff
Created: January 26, 2011 Last Updated: January 27, 2011
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Diabetes has become more prevalent than ever in the United States: around 26 million American adults now have type 2 diabetes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Wednesday.

The agency said that another 79 million adults have pre-diabetes, when their blood sugar levels are above average but are not high enough to be classified as diabetic. Half of adults over 65 are pre-diabetic.

In 2008, only 23.6 million Americans had diabetes and 57 million adults had pre-diabetes.

Pre-diabetes raises one's risk to have type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.

"These distressing numbers show how important it is to prevent type 2 diabetes and to help those who have diabetes manage the disease to prevent serious complications such as kidney failure and blindness," said Dr. Ann Albright, who heads CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation, in a statement.

Around 8.3 percent of all Americans and around 11 percent of adults 20 and older have the disease.

Seven million Americans, or 27 percent of those with diabetes, have the illness but do not know that they do, the CDC estimates.

The health agency said that they are working on the National Diabetes Prevention Program, which has been outlined in President Obama's Affordable Health Care Act passed last year. The program will aim to reduce type 2 diabetes.

"We know that a structured lifestyle program that includes losing weight and increasing physical activity can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes," Albright added.

Around 215,000 Americans under the age of 20 have diabetes, and around 1.9 million were diagnosed with the disease last year.

Minorities had higher rates of the disease.

Sixteen percent of American Indians/Alaska Natives, 12.6 percent of blacks, 11.8 percent of Hispanics, 8.4 percent of Asian-Americans, and 7.1 percent of non-Hispanic whites had diabetes, the CDC said.

The CDC says that in the United States, diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death and costs $174 billion annually, including $116 billion in direct medical costs.


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