105 Million in U.S. have Diabetes or Prediabetes, Says CDC

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Diabetes now affects nearly 26 million Americans and 79 million people have "prediabetes," according to 2011 estimates released Wednesday by the CDC.

These numbers mean that about 1 in 12 Americans have diabetes, a disease in which the body has trouble processing sugar.

The new figure marks a 9 percent increase from the 2008 estimate of 23.6 million.

Prediabetes, which affects 35 percent of adults, is a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

Over 90 percent of diabetes cases are type 2, which develops when the body’s cells gradually lose their ability to use and produce insulin.

Health officials believe diabetes is becoming more common for two reasons – more people are developing obesity-related Type 2 diabetes, and people who diabetes are living longer.

According to the report, racial and ethnic minorities continue to have higher rates of diabetes. For adults, diabetes rates were 16.1 percent for American Indians/Alaska Natives, 12.6 percent for blacks, 11.8 percent for Hispanics, 8.4 percent for Asian-Americans, and 7.1 percent for non-Hispanic whites.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. Having diabetes increases the risk of complications such as heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, kidney failure, blindness and amputations of feet and legs.

In a study published last year, CDC projected that as many as 1 in 3 U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue.

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