Even if you know one or two others who have diabetes, you may be surprised
to learn just how common it is:
- In the United States alone, about 20 million people have diabetes. More
than 6 million of the people who have it (nearly one third!) don't
yet know that they have it.
- Between 90-95% of these cases are type 2 diabetes.
- When considering people of all ages, more than 1 in 15 people in the U.S.
have diabetes. For those over age 20, the incidence falls to about
1 in 10; for those over age 60, it is more than 1 in 5. And diabetes continues
to get more common in every age group.
- Since 1988, the average age of diagnosis of type 2 diabetes has dropped
from 52 years to 46 years. The disease is becoming alarmingly more common
in children and young adults.
- Men and women have an equal chance of getting diabetes.
Risk factors increase the likelihood that you will get diabetes. Some
risk factors are under your control and some are not.
Here are risk factors that you CAN'T change:
- Your age.
- The genes that you inherited.
- Your family history.
- Gestational diabetes that you may have had
in the past.
The good news, however, is that there are risk factors you CAN change. In
fact, you may even be able to prevent type 2 diabetes altogether by
doing the following:
- Eat healthy amounts of healthy foods.
- Maintain a healthy weight and a low body mass
- Exercise and stay physically active.
- Reduce body fat, especially around your waistline.
- Increase your dietary fiber intake.
If you already have diabetes, these same steps can help you control it, as
you will learn later in this guide.
Review Date: 5/1/2006
Reviewed By: Alan Greene, M.D., F.A.A.P., Department of Pediatrics, Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University School of Medicine; Chief Medical Officer, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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