More than 100 million U.S. adults have diabetes or prediabetes, health officials say. As of 2015, more than 9 percent of the population — 30.3 million — had diabetes. Another 84.1 million had prediabetes, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last week. Rates of diagnosed diabetes were higher among American Indians/Alaska Natives (15.1 percent), non-Hispanic blacks (12.7 percent), and Hispanics (12.1 percent), compared to Asians (8.0 percent) and non-Hispanic whites (7.4 percent).
People with prediabetes have elevated blood sugar levels, but not so high that they have full-blown diabetes, which requires medication or insulin injections. With exercise and a healthy diet, prediabetics can halve their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the CDC noted.
However, awareness levels remain too low. The new report found that nearly 1 in 4 adults with diabetes didn’t even know they had the disease, and less than 12 percent with prediabetes knew they had that condition. By focusing on prevention, it may be possible to avoid the numerous complications of diabetes and obesity, which include not only eye, kidney and nerve problems but also dental disease, dementia and depression.
Some of the report highlights include:
- Rates of diagnosed diabetes were higher for American Indians/Alaska Natives (15 percent), blacks (nearly 13 percent), and Hispanics 12 percent) than for Asians (8 percent) and whites (7.4 percent).
- Prevalence also differed by education. The highest rate — nearly 13 percent — was among those with less than a high school education. Adults with more than a high school education had the lowest rate — a little over 7 percent.
- By U.S. region, the South and Appalachia had the highest rates of diagnosed diabetes and new diabetes cases.
- Rates of prediabetes were higher among men (nearly 37 percent) than among women (29 percent).
- Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.