Over eight percent of Americans (25.8 million people) have diabetes and 1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in 2010 alone, according to the National Diabetes Fact Sheet released January 2011. Seventy-nine million Americans, or over one-fourth of the American population, have prediabetes—a state of above normal blood glucose levels that raises the risk of developing diabetes. Knowing whether you are at risk helps you not only prevent developing diabetes, but also the many complications of diabetes, which include heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, neuropathy, and amputation. Today, on the 23rd annual Alert Day, the American Diabetes Associationis encouraging everyone to take a short test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Some risk factors for Diabetes cannot be avoided. You are more likely to develop diabetes if you are male, if other members of your immediate family have suffered from diabetes, or if you belong to certain racial and ethnic groups, including African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, American Indians, and Pacific Islanders. Your risk of developing diabetes also increases as you age.
Photo: Tony Alter