According to the World Health Organization, 170 million people have diabetes worldwide and this number may well double by the year 2030. The increase in diabetes is due to population growth and aging, and sedentary lifestyles (little or no exercise, unhealthy diets and being overweight).
In the United States, the American Diabetes Association estimates there are 20.8 million people in the United States, or 7% of the population, who have diabetes. While an estimated 14.6 million have been diagnosed with diabetes, unfortunately, 6.2 million people (or nearly one-third) are unaware that they have the disease. And an estimated 41 million people have prediabetes: high blood glucose that isn't high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes but can lead to diabetes if not treated.
If you have a family history of diabetes, or are from an ethnic heritage, you may be more likely to develop diabetes. And although Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95% of the diabetes population and was primarily considered an older person's disease, more and more young people are developing this disease.
Diabetes is a serious disease, but its complications (heart disease, stroke, blindness, nerve damage which leads to loss of feeling, high blood pressure, kidney disease, amputation, difficulty healing) can be delayed or prevented with regular blood glucose monitoring, eating healthy, being physically active and taking medication as needed. Learn more about managing your diabetes.
Not sure if you're at risk for developing diabetes? Take our quiz and find out.