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One Third of Diabetics Are Undiagnosed  - Diabetes Cases on Rise

May 26th 2006

One Third of Diabetics Are Undiagnosed  - Diabetes Cases on Rise

Walk 5 days week

The National Institute of Health (NIH) reported that one third of those with diabetes do not realize they have it.  Although the percentage of adults with undiagnosed diabetes has not changed over the years, about 2.8 percent of all US adults have diabetes and dont know it.

Both the NIH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed national survey data from two periods 1988 to 1994 and 1999 to 2002.  They say the number of adults over the age of 20 with diabetes has risen from 5.1 percent to 6.5 percent.

The study published in the June 2006 issue of Diabetes Care, says that type 2 diabetes accounts for up to 95 percent of all diabetes cases and virtually all undiagnosed diabetes cases.  People with the disease have high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production, insulin action, or both.


Diabetes is the most common cause of blindness, kidney failure, and amputations in adults and a major cause of heart disease and stroke.  The researchers say that about 26 percent of adults age 20 and older continued to have impaired fasting glucose (IFG).  This is a form of pre-diabetes.  If the IFG levels are high but yet there is still no diagnosis of diabetes, there is still an increased risk of heart disease as well as the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

There are some things you can do if your glucose levels are high but you are still not diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  Dr. Larry Blonde of the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) says Its important to know if you have pre-diabetes or undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. You should talk to your health care professional about your risk. If your blood glucose is high but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes, losing weight and increasing physical activity will greatly lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes. If you have diabetes, controlling your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol will prevent or delay the complications of diabetes.


The report went on to say that nearly 22 percent of people age 65 and older had diabetes and nearly 40 percent had IFG.  They broke the percentages down and about 13 percent of non-Hispanic blacks age 20 and older had diabetes.  Also about 8 percent of Mexican Americans age 20 and older had diabetes.  The researchers informed us that since the average age of Mexican Americans are younger than for other groups, the age-and sex-adjusted prevalence of diabetes in Mexican Americans is twice that of non-Hispanic whites and about equal to that of non-Hispanic blacks.

Men were more likely to have undiagnosed diabetes and IFG.  The researchers also warn that pre-diabetes usually causes no symptoms.  In IFG, blood glucose is high (100 to 125 milligrams per deciliter or mg/dL) after an overnight fast but not high enough to be diagnostic of diabetes. In impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), blood glucose is high (140 to 199 mg/dL) 2 hours after drinking a sugary drink in an oral glucose tolerance test but not high enough to be diagnostic of diabetes.


The researchers suggest modest exercise to stave off diabetes.  They say the risk can be lowered if you lose a modest amount of weight by cutting calories in their diet and increasing physical activity (for example, walking 30 minutes a day 5 days a week). A major study of people with IGT has shown that lifestyle changes leading to a 5 to 7 percent weight loss lowered diabetes onset by 58 percent.

If you are over age 45, you should consult your health care provider about testing for pre-diabetes or diabetes. If you are younger than 45, overweight, and have another risk factor, you should ask about testing.

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Dan Wilson
Best Syndication

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Important:  The material on Best Syndication is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. You should promptly seek professional medical care if you have any concern about your health, and you should always consult your physician before starting a fitness program.

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:51 PM