Wednesday, September 17, 2014

HEALTH - 50% of U.S. Adults at Risk Due to Dibetes

"Study finds half of U.S. adults at risk for health problems related to elevated blood sugar" PBS NewsHour 9/15/2014

This issue pertains to me, I have Type 2 Diabetes.  There is one thing doctors and health care providers could do; perform the A1C blood test at least annually for everyone under 60yrs, and every six months for seniors.

The A1C blood test provides a 6mth snapshot of your blood sugar levels.


GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  We have talked frequently about the growing burden of diabetes.  But new data show the picture is more sobering than ever.  A recent study found the risk for some cancers, such as those in the breast, liver, pancreas or stomach, is 15 percent higher if a person has higher-than-normal blood sugar, a condition often referred to as pre-diabetes.

And the Centers for Disease Control is reporting that one out of three Americans over the age of 20, or 85 million people, have pre-diabetes.  Another 29 million already have diabetes, which would put half of the U.S. adult population at risk of developing serious health problems.

Dr. David Nathan is director of the Diabetes Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.  He joins me now.

Dr. Nathan, what explains this kind of increase over just a decade, an increase of 27 percent?

DR. DAVID NATHAN, Director, Diabetes Center at Massachusetts General hospital:  Well, we have been seeing this increase not just in the past decade, but over even the past several decades.

And it seems to be attributable almost entirely to the co-epidemic, if you will, of obesity and overweight.  So, now in the U.S., for example, 35 percent of the population is overweight, and another 35 percent is actually obese.  And obesity and overweight, as well as sedentary lifestyle, are the major risk factors for the development of diabetes.

GWEN IFILL:  Let’s make the distinction between type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes.  How often does one lead to the other?

DR. DAVID NATHAN:  Well, so pre-diabetes is a term that we invented a number of years ago, and it’s meant to capture those persons who are at average-than-average or at very high risk for developing diabetes.

The term is a bit unfortunate, because not everyone with pre-diabetes actually develops diabetes, but approximately 50 percent we think go on to develop diabetes over time.

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