A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report finds that a staggering 30 million people—roughly 1 in 10 Americans—have type 2 diabetes. Most concerning: nearly a quarter of them don’t even realize it.
Just as worrisome is the prevalence of prediabetes: The new report reveals that 84 million adults, or roughly one-third of the U.S. population, have the elevated blood sugar levels that put them at high risk for developing full-blown diabetes.
"We’re not seeing the rate of diabetes and prediabetes growth continue to escalate in the way it has in previous years," says Ann Albright, Ph.D., R.D., director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation. "Still the numbers of cases of undiagnosed prediabetes, in particular, are astounding. It’s evidence that more needs to be done to reach those at risk for type 2 diabetes.”
Type 2 diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S., and the leading cause of disability. It is more common, though less severe, than type 1 diabetes. In both cases, the body doesn't produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels properly, which can lead to serious medical issues such as heart and kidney disease.
Here are some ways to reduce your risk of developing diabetes—and if you already have it, to prevent it from progressing.