is on the rise in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control,
the number of people with diabetes has more than doubled in the last
20 years, from 5.8 million to 13.3 million, and about five million cases
remain undiagnosed. What’s more, type 2 diabetes, once called “adult-onset
diabetes,” is now being diagnosed more often in teenagers. Recent
figures predict that one in three babies born in the year 2000 will go
on to develop diabetes at some point in their lifetime.
Did you know that people with diabetes are at twice the risk for heart
disease? Doctors now believe that people with diabetes have the same risk
of having a cardiac event as someone who has already had a heart attack
or stroke. Diabetes raises heart disease risk even when blood sugar levels
are under control. In fact, people with diabetes are two to four times
more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than people without diabetes.
Heart disease is the number-one cause of early death among people with
Because of this increased risk, people with diabetes need to manage their
disease carefully — even though at times they may not have symptoms.
Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes. It affects about 17 million
Americans. In Type 2 diabetes, either the body does not make enough insulin,
a hormone that converts blood sugar into energy, or the cells cannot use
the insulin properly. This is a condition known as insulin resistance.
When blood sugar levels rise and stay high over time, serious health problems
such as heart disease can result.
What’s more, diabetes often occurs along with other risk factors
for heart disease, like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity.
If you have diabetes, take steps today to reduce your risk of complications.
Your doctor can help you develop a plan to get blood sugar, blood pressure
and cholesterol under control. The plan may include diet, exercise and
sometimes medication. This may include insulin, diabetes medication, blood
pressure medication or cholesterol-lowering medicines. The American Diabetes
Association recommends that, in addition to diet and exercise, adults with
Type 2 diabetes should be considered for cholesterol-lowering medication
regardless of their LDL cholesterol levels.
Talk to your doctor about how to best control your diabetes, including
lowering your cholesterol levels and your risk for heart disease. Take
control of your risk factors and don’t let your diabetes control