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Poll Question: Diabetes

- January 13, 2014 by Guest Bloggers (View all posts by Guest)

Q- Nearly __ million adults in the US have prediabetes, a condition that increases their chances of developing type 2 diabetes.  (105, 79, 26, or 52)

A- 79 million adults in the US have prediabetes.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this poll.  Be sure to check out our new poll on Car Crashes.

Diabetes and prediabetes are a serious threat for 105 million Americans, nearly 26 million of whom are diabetic with the remaining 79 million pre-diabetic.  Those who don’t realize the issue  often aren’t diagnosed until one of the serious health problems caused by diabetes rears its ugly head.  According to the National Diabetes Education Program, failing to control diabetes can lead to serious health issues such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, and amputation.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce insulin correctly and is usually diagnosed in childhood.  Type 2 diabetes is a disease that can be addressed when caught early since it’s usually a result of lifestyle choices, not exercising and bad food choices, for example.

Addressing prediabetic conditions not only helps the afflicted person, but for an employer it can also help to reduce the bottom line when looking to medical insurance costs and workers’ compensation costs.  In 2012, “the total estimated costs of diagnosed diabetes [was] $245 billion, including $176 billion in direct medical costs and $69 billion in reduced productivity” (National Diabetes Month 2013).  How many of these costs could have been avoided if the condition were caught before serious health conditions set in?

Here are some warning signs of diabetes from the National Diabetes Education Program.  If any combination of these factors seem familiar, take some time to speak to your doctor.

  • Feeling more hungry, thirsty, or urinating more frequently.
  • Recent gain or loss of a significant amount of weight without trying.
  • A Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or more.
  • Having given birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds or having gestational diabetes.
  • Blood pressure above 140/90 on a regular basis.
  • Over age 45.
  • Has anyone in your immediate family (parents or children) had diabetes.
  • Lack of exercise during an average week.
  • Your “bad” [HDL]-cholesterol” is below 35 mg/dl or your triglycerides are above 250 mg/dl.

Resources:

“National Diabetes Month 2013 Talking Points.” ndep.nih.gov. National Diabetes Education Program, ND.  Web. 13 November 2013.  http://ndep.nih.gov/resources/ResourceDetail.aspx?ResId=443