Diabetes by the Numbers
Did you know 21 million Americans have diabetes? And every year, 1.7 million Americans aged 20 years or older are newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease? That means 4,660 people per day and one person every 19 seconds are diagnosed with diabetes. If this trend continues, it’s estimated as many as one in three Americans will have diabetes by 2050.
November is National Diabetes Month, and at HCA’s TriStar Centennial Medical Center, we are joining the conversation to raise public awareness about this health challenge, provide ways to reduce the risk and support those living with diabetes.
Diabetes at a Glance
Diabetes is a disease that leads to too much glucose (sugar) in the blood. After eating, food turns into glucose for the body to use as energy. The pancreas then makes insulin – a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into the cells – to help glucose get into the body. In diabetics, this system does not work properly and sugar builds up in the blood.
In Type 2 diabetes, people either do not produce enough insulin or are not responsive to insulin. Nearly 95 percent of all diagnosed cases are Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, while the most common, is a manageable and oftentimes preventable condition.
Diabetes by Demographics
Age, gender and genetics are contributing factors of a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Also, certain ethnic groups have a higher risk of developing this medical condition. The risk of diagnosed diabetes among ethnic groups is:
- 7 times higher among African Americans and Hispanics as compared to non-Hispanic whites, and
- 2 times higher among Asian Americans as compared to non-Hispanic whites.
Are you at risk?
There are 86 million Americans who are prediabetic – those who have a higher than normal blood sugar level – and only 11 percent are aware they’re on the brink of diabetes. Prediabetes increases your risk of Type 2 diabetes, which can lead to serious health issues, specifically, blindness, stroke, heart disease, amputations and kidney failure.
The good news is there are ways to prevent or delay prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes.
Here’s a to-do list to reduce your risk for diabetes.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
Eighty five percent of people with diabetes are overweight or obese. Overweight individuals are 20 to 40 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes. Losing seven percent body weight decreases your risk of diabetes.
- Get physically active.
Walk 30 minutes per day or in 10 minute increments to decrease your chances of diabetes.
- Choose healthier meals.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and stick with lean protein sources like poultry, fish and pork loin.
- Limit your processed foods intake.
Say no to frozen dinners, fast food, chips, sweets, sodas, and sugary cereals.
- Stop smoking.
For more information on Diabetes Education Programs, check your local HCA facility.