New Study finds that 371 million have diabetes worldwide, and half don’t know it

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), a record breaking 371 people are now affected by diabetes globally and nearly 2 million of them don’t know they have the illness.

The findings were released as part of November 14th’s World Diabetes Day 2012 and many of the numbers are truly alarming. Last year’s estimate of diabetes cases was only 366 million and while only 4 million died from diabetes complications last year that number is expected to climb to 4.8 million this year with half those deaths occurring in people under the age of 60.

In an accompanying press release, IDF President Jean Claude Mbanya said: “As millions of undiagnosed people develop diabetes complications, we can expect to see the mortality rate climb. On World Diabetes Day, we want to raise awareness that this disease can be controlled and in some cases prevented.”

Diabetes is now the 7th leading cause of death in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 95% of those cases are Type 2 diabetes, the risk factors for which include: obesity, inactivity, age and family history.

The health complications from diabetes can be very serious; it can lead to kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and lower limb amputations. Already this year, a record $471 billion has been spent in diabetes treatment up $6 billion from 2011. According to the latest numbers from the CDC an astonishing 8.3% percent of Americans now suffer from the disease with 7 million people diagnosed and another 79 million suffering from prediabetes.

There are many things a person can do to lower their risk of diabetes. A regular exercise routine can not only help establish a healthy BMI but can also lower blood sugar levels and increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin. Eating a healthy diet rich in fiber and whole grains can also help maintain normal blood sugar levels.

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