New statistics show more Americans have diabetes - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

New statistics show more Americans have diabetes

(NBC) - According to new statistics, if you're one of the millions of Americans who is overweight and doesn't exercise, you may have diabetes and not even know it.

"Up to 20-25% of people who are newly diagnosed with diabetes already have complications," Dr. Susan Spratt said.

The Centers for Disease Control has released new statistics that show nearly 26 million Americans have Type II diabetes, a jump of about three million from just three years ago.

More than a third of U.S. adults have high blood glucose levels that are just below the threshold to be considered full-blown diabetes.

"We know that the diabetes trend has been increasing over the past two decades," Spratt says.

While it's true more people are developing diabetes, the statistical rise can also be attributed to better management of the disease.

More people are living longer with it.

Since the previous estimate, doctors are now using improved screening methods, which also lead to a rise in diagnoses.

"It's really important to be screened for diabetes, especially if you're overweight, have a family history or are in a group or population that has a high risk for diabetes," Spratt advises.

African-Americans and other ethnic minority groups have higher rates of diabetes, but prevention is key for everyone.

Exercise, cutting your weight by ten percent and adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet can help, and could potentially reverse this growing trend.

Copyright 2011 NBC. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly