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Half of Americans have diabetes or prediabetes

Staff writer |
Close to half of all American adults have type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, a new study finds.

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Up to 14 percent of adults had diagnosed or undiagnosed type 2 diabetes in 2011-2012, and about 38 percent had diagnosed or undiagnosed prediabetes, the researchers reported. Prediabetes is defined as having elevated blood sugar levels that aren't high enough to be called full-blown diabetes, the researchers explained.

About one-third of those Americans with type 2 diabetes don't know they have it, and most of those with prediabetes are unaware of their condition, the study authors said. For these adults, the findings should be a wake-up call to get treatment and make lifestyle changes that include losing weight and being more active, Cowie said.

Although data from recent years suggests that the increase in the prevalence of diabetes may be leveling off, it's still too high.

Type 2 diabetes is caused by obesity, poor eating habits and lack of exercise.

According to the report, of the slightly more than 14 percent of adults with type 2 diabetes, 9 percent had been diagnosed with the condition and just over 5 percent remained undiagnosed. In addition, 38 percent of adults had prediabetes, but more than 36 percent remained undiagnosed.

The prevalence of diabetes among whites was just over 11 percent, which was lower than among other groups. Among blacks, the prevalence of diabetes was almost 22 percent, among Asians it was close to 21 percent, and among Hispanics it was more than 22 percent, the researchers found.


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