New diabetes statistics show tide of disease is still rising

6/11/2014

By Melissa Healy

By Melissa Healy

Los Angeles Times

(MCT) — Driven by surging obesity, an aging population and doubly high risks among blacks and Latinos, the American epidemic of diabetes has leaped to historic heights in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday. Diabetes mellitus now afflicts 29 million Americans _ 9.3 percent of the nation's population.

And 1 in 4 don't know they have the disease, which is thought to increase the risk of heart attack or stroke as much as fourfold.

Releasing a welter of new statistics on the disease, the agency said an additional 86 million American adults — nearly 1 in 3 — has prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are abnormally elevated but below the criteria for diagnosing diabetes.

The new statistics are based on national health data gathered in 2012 and represent a nearly 12 percent increase in the number of those with diabetes.

"Diabetes is costly in both human and economic terms," Albright said in releasing the report. "It's urgent that we take swift action to effectively treat and prevent this serious disease."

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