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Adult Diabetics Were Unaware Of Their Condition

by Medindia Content Team on May 30, 2006 at 2:03 PM
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Adult Diabetics Were Unaware Of Their Condition

A national survey data by the researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), diagnosed the prevalence of diabetes in U.S. adults aged 20 and older, and reported that it has risen from about 5.1 percent to 6.5 percent, from two periods--1988 to 1994 and 1999 to 2002.

No significant increase in the percentage of adults with undiagnosed diabetes was seen. One-third of the people with diabetes (i.e. about 2.8 percent of U.S. adult) are still unaware of having diabetes.


It is a class of diseases characterized by high levels of blood glucose resulting either from defect in insulin production, insulin action, its release or all the above. It is the most common cause of blindness (retinopathy), kidney failure (nephropathy), and amputations in adults (neuropathy) and an important cause of heart disease like atherosclerosis and stroke.

Pre-diabetes - impaired fasting glucose (IFG) exists in about 26 percent of adults aged 20 and older. IFG, has an increased risk of developing heart disease as well as type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Larry Blonde, chair of the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), jointly sponsored by the NIH, CDC, and 200 partner organizations says, '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'.

Non-Hispanic blacks aged 20 and older, and people aged 65 and older had diabetes to nearly about 13 percent and 22 percent respectively. Thus diabetes was twice as common in non-Hispanic blacks compared to non-Hispanic whites - Researchers found.

U.S. adults, aged 20 years and older, who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, were taken as samples and in a study, the researchers compared two slices of data, one from 1988 to 1994 and the other from 1999 to 2002. A physical exam with a blood test,(overnight fasting glucose) and personal interview was made during the survey, which took part in their homes.The NHANES is unique because it includes a blood test that detects undiagnosed diabetes and IFG.

Leading author, Catherine Cowie, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) reported that earlier analysis of NHANES also correlates with the present study results and found another 26 percent of adults have a form of pre-diabetes.

People with pre-diabetes may have IFG or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or both. In the future 10 years, pre-diabetes will put forth people into type 2 diabetics.

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. Thus walking 30 minutes a day 5 days a week as a physical exercise and reducing daily calories in the diet, will reduce risk of developing diabetes - researchers of the current study says.


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