November is American Diabetes Month, a time to communicate the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of diabetes prevention and control. For years, the American Diabetes Association has used this month as an opportunity to raise awareness of the disease and its serious complications.
Following are some current statistics from the American Diabetes Association's website about diabetes that underscore the seriousness and number of people that are affected by this disease. Did you know:
Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.
Another 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take steps to Stop Diabetes.
The toll on health
Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.
Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure.
Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults.
The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for people without diabetes.
About 60-70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nerve damage that could result in pain in the feet or hands, slowed digestion, sexual dysfunction, and other nerve problems.
Cost of diabetes
The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $174 billion.
The cost of caring for someone with diabetes is $1 out of every $5 in total healthcare costs.
Diet, exercise and (if necessary) medication are the three main approaches used to control diabetes. If you, or someone you know has diabetes, good control of your blood sugars may help prevent some of the complications of diabetes. For more information, contact your local diabetes educators or visit the American Diabetes Association's website.
(Cheryl Rude is a registered dietitian at Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center.)