Diabetes is a chronic disease that causes blood sugar levels to rise higher than normal. Diabetes affects more than 29 million people. A condition called prediabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
More than 86 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk of developing diabetes. Diabetes has no cure, but prediabetes can be reversed.
Chances are you know at least one person with diabetes and probably more than one with prediabetes. To find out if you're at risk, take this quick test. Then share the test with friends and family.
The Y Can Help
The YMCA of Western North Carolina offers two evidence-based programs for diabetes prevention and management.
- The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program helps those at risk of developing type 2 diabetes adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles by encouraging participants to eat healthier, increase physical activity and lose a modest amount of weight in a small-group environment. By making and maintaining these modest lifestyle changes, a participant can reduce the chances of developing diabetes.
- Taking Control of Type 2 empowers participants to take a balanced approach to type 2 diabetes self-care. Support and education are provided by a variety of health professionals and is complemented by a YMCA curriculum that covers motivation, goal setting, balanced eating, and achieving a healthy weight.
The CDC has been involved in extensive research on prediabetes and diabetes in the United States. Their findings suggest that this disease continues to be a growing issue for people of all ages and backgrounds:
- Diabetes affects 29.1 million people in the United States, 8.1 million of which are undiagnosed.
- 2012 studies estimate that 86 million Americans over the ages of 20 have prediabetes, an increase from 79 million in 2010.
- Fewer than 11% of the Americans affected by prediabetes actually know it.
- People with prediabetes are likely to develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years, unless action is taken to prevent or delay the disease.
- Diabetes (both diagnosed and undiagnosed) in Americans age 65 and older is 25.9%, or 11.8 million seniors.
- Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
- In 2012, 1.7 million new cases of diabetes in people over the age of 20 were diagnosed.
- Medical expenses for people with diabetes are 2.3 times greater than those without.
- People with diabetes are between two to four times more likely to have a stroke and die from heart disease.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in people age 20-74.
- People with diabetes are at greater risk for nerve damage, dental disease, lower limb amputation, depression, and complications during pregnancy.
Diabetes in North Carolina
- Is ranked 13th highest for adult diabetes prevalence.
- At 12.6%, residents in Western North Carolina have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than other regions in the state.
- In McDowell County, 10.6% of the population are diabetic and another 7.8% are prediabetic.
- In Henderson County, 9.3% of the population have type 2 diabetes and another 6% qualify as prediabetic.
- In Buncombe County, 11.8% of the population have type 2 diabetes and another 6.7% have prediabetes.