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align=center>style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">1 in 7 Americans at Risk for
Diabetes
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As many as a third of
American adults with type 2 diabetes donít even know they have the disease,
according to alarming new findings from the National Institutes of Health and
the CDC.


Even more disheartening,
one in three adults in the w:st="on">U.S. either has diabetes or a
pre-diabetes condition known as impaired glucose
tolerance.


That means that 23 million
Americans have the disease or are on their way to getting it, says Catherine
Cowie, PhD, of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases (NIDDK).


"We knew that there had
been an increase in diagnosed cases [of type 2 diabetes]," Cowie tells WebMD.
"The hope was that this rise would be counterbalanced by a decline in
undiagnosed cases. But that is not what we are seeing."style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial">


Ethnic Groups Most
at Risk
Cowie
and colleagues analyzed data from a national survey collected between 1999 and
2002, and compared them to data collected between 1988 and 1994. Participants
were asked if they had diabetes, and they were given fasting blood tests to
confirm the diagnosis, identify new cases, and identify people with the
pre-diabetes condition.


Among the surveyís main
findings:



style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Type 2 diabetes accounts for about
95% of all diabetes cases, and virtually all undiagnosed cases of the disease.
Obesity is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes; age, family history, and
sedentary lifestyle also contribute to risk.


style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Diabetes is the most common cause of
blindness, kidney failure, and amputations among adults in the
w:st="on">U.S. It is also a major risk factor
for heart disease and stroke.


style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Pre-diabetes Not
Benign
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style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">The analyzed data were taken from
the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), conducted by the
CDCís National
Center
for Health
Statistics. NHANES is the only national health survey to examine both diagnosed
diabetes and undiagnosed disease, confirmed by physical exams that include blood
glucose testing.


style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Over the years studied, roughly 26%
of adults in the w:st="on">U.S. had impaired fasting glucose,
meaning that blood sugar levels were higher than normal after an overnight fast,
but not high enough to be considered diabetes. This condition is also known as
impaired glucose tolerance and pre-diabetes.


style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">The pre-diabetes condition has no
symptoms, but Cowie points out that it is far from benign.


style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">"These people have a very high risk
of developing diabetes within a decade, and even if they donít they are still at
high risk for having a heart attack or stroke," she says.


style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Positive lifestyle changes can often
prevent or delay the onset of diabetes in people with pre-diabetes. Study after
study has shown that losing modest amounts of weight and getting even a moderate
amount of exercise on a daily basis can make a big difference.


style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">"Even doing something simple like
walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week can lower risk," she
says.


style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">SOURCES: Cowie, C.C. style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Diabetes Care, Catherine C. Cowie, PhD,
director, Diabetes Epidemiology Program, NIDDK. Charles M. Clark, MD, professor
of medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine; chairman emeritus, NIDDK
National Diabetes Education Program.


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