March 22 is Diabetes Alert Day. Diabetes, and in particular, Type 2 diabetes is a disease that is affecting more and more Americans every day. Once a disease typically seen only in older adults we now have children living with this illness. All of us should learn all we can about Diabetes, how to prevent it, how to treat it and how to live with it.
Here are a few statistics:
- 23.6 million Americans have diabetes — 7.8 percent of the U.S. population. Of these, 5.7 million do not know they have the disease.
- Each year, about 1.6 million people ages 20 or older are diagnosed with diabetes.
- The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has risen from 1.5 million in 1958 to 17.9 million in 2007, an increase of epidemic proportions.
- It is estimated that 57 million adults aged 20 and older have pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is a condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Studies have shown that by losing weight and increasing physical activity people can prevent or delay pre-diabetes from progressing to diabetes.
If you or someone you know has diabetes, you can get a lot of excellent information at The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Diabetes Education Program website.