| Diabetes Ranked Among
World's Top Killers
Healthy Steps Now
Can Help Lessen the Impact of Diabetes - or Even
22, 2005 -- Diabetes may have killed nearly 3 million people
in 2000, making it the world's No. 5 cause of death, by
a new estimate.
The numbers, published in Diabetes Care, come
from researchers including the World Health Organization's
Gojka Roglic, MD.
U.S. Diabetes Deaths
Diabetes was the No. 6 cause of death listed on U.S. death
certificates in 2000. Diabetes deaths are probably underreported,
according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive
and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
The risk for early death among people with diabetes is
about two times that of people without diabetes, says the
Staying Healthy With Diabetes
While experts bat numbers back and forth, millions of
people probably just want to stay off that death list.
More than 18 million people in the U.S. have diabetes
(mainly type 2 diabetes), and more than 5 million of them
don't know it, according to the NIDDK.
Diabetes has also been rising in the U.S. About 41 million
people in the U.S. have
, according to the National
Diabetes Education Program (NDEP).
In prediabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal
but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Prediabetes
raises the risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
Diabetes Tests Are Simple
It's a good idea to talk to your doctor about getting
tested for diabetes, especially if you're over 45, overweight,
or have a family history of diabetes.
A diabetes test consists of a simple blood test done when
the patient has not eaten for at least 10 hours.
With diabetes, fasting blood sugar is at least 126 mg/dL.
Fasting blood sugar is 100 to 125 in prediabetes. Normal
fasting blood sugar is less than 100.
Living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent
- Eat a
- Maintain a healthy weight. Even losing a small amount
of weight can significantly lower the risk of diabetes.
- Get 30 minutes of physical activity five days per week.
Even gardening counts.
- Ask your doctor or health care provider if you're at
risk for diabetes or if you have prediabetes.
Signs of diabetes may include:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Extreme hunger
- Unusual weight loss
- Increased fatigue
- Blurred vision
See your doctor right away if you have one or more of
those diabetes symptoms.
If you've got diabetes, do your best to take care of yourself.
- Follow your diabetes food plan.
- Eat the right portions of healthy foods.
- Eat foods that have less salt and fat.
- Get 30 to 60 minutes of activity on most days of the
- Stay at a healthy weight.
- Stop smoking.
- Take medicines as instructed by your doctor.
- Check your feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots,
- Call your health care team immediately about any sores
that won't heal.
- Brush and floss your teeth every day.
- Check your blood glucose as instructed by your doctor.
- Get routine medical care.
- Work with your health care team to manage your diabetes
and stay healthy.