According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the number of people with diabetes has increased by 3 million in 3 years to a new high of 24 million. This means that almost 8 percent of people in the U.S. have diabetes. Almost a quarter of people over 65 years old have diabetes. In addition, 57 million people have pre-diabetes, which means they are at very high risk for developing diabetes.
Are you or someone in your family at risk for type 2 diabetes? Your risk is higher if you are over 45 years of age, especially if you are over your recommended weight. You are also at higher risk if you are less than 45 years of age and have any one of these risk factors: physically inactive; have close relatives with diabetes; are a member of high-risk ethnic populations such as African American, Latino, Native American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander; have delivered a baby weighing over 9 pounds; have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and/or triglycerides, polycystic ovary syndrome, tests indicating your body is not handling glucose well, or a history of vascular disease.
If you think you are at risk, ask your doctor or clinic for a fasting blood glucose test. Then, make sure you understand the results when they come back to you. Ask for a copy, and keep that copy somewhere so you can find it and compare future results.
If you are told your results indicate you do have pre-diabetes, is there anything you can do to reduce your risk of developing diabetes? The Diabetes Prevention Program showed the answer is "yes." By walking 30 minutes daily for 5 days each week at a moderate speed and losing 7 percent of your body weight, 58 percent of the people participating in this study did not develop diabetes.
Texas AgriLife Extension Service will be offering a five week diabetes education program called Do Well, Be Well on each Tuesday in March. It is open to the public at no cost. For more information about joining the class call the Texas AgriLife San Saba Co. Extension Office at 372-54516 or email Carolyn McDowell, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Carol A. Rice, PhD, RN, Professor and Extension Health Specialist. June 2008. Texas AgriLife Extension Service Family and Consumer Sciences website: http://fcs.tamu.edu/.