Most Americans are aware of the risks of diabetes, survey shows

by Sarita Sheth on November 6, 2012

Of the 26 million American adults with diabetes, 90% suffer from type 2, Says CDC

A majority of Americans recognise the threat diabetes poses to the nation’s health and have a solid understanding about the disease and its consequences, according to a new survey.

The national survey from UnitedHealth Group undertaken to mark National Diabetes Month found that 92% respondents know there is a difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes and 82% recognise that type 2 diabetes is largely preventable.

It also found that 73% believe they will not necessarily get diabetes just because it runs in their family and 60% know the definition of the term prediabetes.

People were also knowledgeable about the risk factors with 84% familiar with the leading causes including being overweight (80%), a family history of diabetes (76%), lack of exercise (74%), high blood pressure (59%), high cholesterol (58%), and being age 45 or older (48%). Also 85% have had their blood sugar level tested and know the result.

‘People are taking notice that we face a public health crisis in the form of obesity, prediabetes and diabetes, so the opportunity now exists to turn awareness into actions like eating healthier, increasing physical activity, being tested for risk factors or joining prevention programs,’ said Deneen Vojta, senior vice president of UnitedHealth Group and chief clinical officer of the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA).

‘Our national conversation around the diabetes epidemic has entered a new era. It is time national actions do the same,’ added Vojta.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 26 million American adults with diabetes. More than 90% of them suffer from type 2 diabetes, the often preventable form of the disease. Currently about 35% of the US adult population has prediabetes, putting 79 million Americans at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform and Modernization research shows that more than half of all Americans will have diabetes or prediabetes by the end of this decade.

‘By 2021, about 40 million American adults will have diabetes and another 100 million will be diagnosed with prediabetes at a cost of $3.5 trillion over the next decade,’ said Tom Beauregard, executive vice president of UnitedHealth Group and executive director of the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization.

‘Given these figures, it’s clear there is a diabetes time bomb ticking in America, due in large part to the escalating obesity rates in our country. Practical steps can be taken, however, to defuse this time bomb,’ he added.

Solid evidence has shown that early and aggressive intervention can reverse the disease’s course for people with prediabetes and reduce its devastating impact on people already diagnosed. Lifestyle changes and a 5% to 7% weight reduction can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent in people with prediabetes.

The Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA) is an employer and community based initiative aimed at tipping the scales against the epidemic of type 2 diabetes, prediabetes and obesity.

One or both DPCA core programmes, the Diabetes Prevention Programme and the Diabetes Control Programme, are available at no out of pocket cost to participants enrolled in employer provided health insurance plans in select markets.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ivan June 8, 2018 at 5:09 am

Such a big problem, but so little money for type1 cure?

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