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Half of American Adults Have Diabetes or Pre-diabetes, Study Reveals

posted: 09/09/15
by: Discovery.com Staff

Approximately half of American adults suffered from diabetes or pre-diabetes between 2011 and 2012, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Upon examining data sourced from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers concluded that between 12% and 14% of adults suffered from diabetes, while 37% to 38% of adults surveyed had pre-diabetes. Frighteningly, more than a third of diabetes cases assessed were undiagnosed.

Hand with glucometer, fruits, tape measure, juice and dumbbells
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Although that figure may seem staggering, there is a glimmer of hope: the prevalence of diabetes is growing at slower rates than in previous years.

"The shift in cultural attitudes toward obesity, the American Medical Association's recognition of obesity as a disease, and the increasing focus on societal interventions to address food policy and the built environment are beginning to address some of the broad environmental forces that have contributed to the epidemic of obesity," study lead authors William H. Herman, M.D., M.P.H., and Amy E. Rothberg, M.D., Ph.D, both of the University of Michigan Health System, write in a news release.

"Progress has been made, but expanded and sustained efforts will be required."

In the meantime, however, diabetes continues to be a major drain on both money and resources in the United States: "use of health resources and lost productivity" related to diabetes cost the United States $245 billion in 2012.

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