According to a recent report from the CDC, a staggering 36 percent of adults over the age of 20 in the United States are either diabetic or prediabetic. There are more than 29 million Americans living with diabetes and another 86 million who have prediabetes, which is characterized by elevated blood sugar levels that aren't quite high enough to get them classified as type 2 diabetic. Without proper diet and an exercise program in place, more than a quarter of the prediabetics could eventually become diabetic.
Here are some of the more shocking statistics from the report which is based on data collected in 2012:
- Nearly 10 percent (9.3) of Americans over the age of 20 are diabetic.That's more than 29 million people.
- 27 percent of Americans 20 and older are prediabetic. That means there are 86 million adults on the verge of becoming diabetic.
- 1.7 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in 2012. More than 200,000 children and teenagers were newly diagnosed with diabetes.
- Black, Hispanic and Native American adults have twice the risk of contracting diabetes that white adults.
- The total medical cost of diabetes including lost wages was calculated at nearly $250 billion.
- 1 in 4 Americans who have diabetes haven't been diagnosed and don't realize they have it.
People with diabetes are at increased risk of serious health problems, including stroke, vision problems, heart disease and kidney disease. It can often be managed through exercise, weight loss and dietary changes, but can be deadly when left unmanaged.
Every American adult should discuss diabetes with their doctor to determine whether they're at risk. Diabetes sometimes develops without warning, but there are often warning signs that are ignored. Here are some of the common warning signs of diabetes:
- Increased thirst and hunger. Diabetics will often be often be hungry again right after eating.
- Blurred vision.
- Dry mouth.
- Frequent urination.
- Weight loss that can't be explained or attributed to diet or exercise.
- Weakness and fatigue.
- Loss of consciousness.
If you're suffering from any of these symptoms, get in to see a doctor immediately. With the right treatment and possibly some medication, diabetes is often a manageable disease. Without treatment, it can be fatal.