Diabetes Health

Deaths from Diabetes Make Sharp Drop

Fewer Americans with diabetes are dying from heart disease and stroke, according to a new government report. The lower death rates are the result of healthier lifestyles and better disease management.

Photo of young woman stretching on sidewalk

"The findings are a reason for hope," says cardiologist Tara Narula, M.D., at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Dr. Narula says widespread educational campaigns about heart disease and diabetes have increased awareness in the general public. In addition, better understanding among doctors of the affects of diabetes on the cardiovascular system, as well as the benefits of stricter blood sugar control, have added to that success.

Diabetes survey

Researchers at the CDC and National Institutes of Health analyzed data from the 1997-2004 National Health Interview Survey on nearly 250,000 adults. During that time period, deaths from diabetes fell by 23 percent. The researchers said the decline in deaths came about because fewer people are smoking, and people are spending more time exercising and also maintaining better control of cholesterol and blood pressure.

They also give credit to improved diabetes medication management and surgical care of heart disease.

The report, published in a recent issue of Diabetes Care, also shows that rates of kidney failure, amputation of feet and legs, and hospitalization for heart disease and stroke among people with diabetes are declining, even though their obesity levels continue to rise.

Healthy choices

"Taking care of your heart through healthy lifestyle choices is making a difference, but Americans continue to die from a disease that can be prevented," says Ann Albright, Ph.D., at the CDC. "Although the cardiovascular disease death rate for people with diabetes has dropped, it is still twice as high as for adults without diabetes."

The American Diabetes Association estimates that nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes. Most have type 2 diabetes, a form of the disease often linked to overweight and obesity.

The estimated total medical costs of diabetes in the United States are $174 billion, including $116 billion in direct medical costs - more than twice as high as for people without diabetes.

Always talk with your health care provider to find out more information.

Online Resources

(Our Organization is not responsible for the content of Internet sites.)

American Diabetes Association - Living with Diabetes

CDC - Diabetes Public Health Resource

National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse - Complications of Diabetes

July 2012

What Is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes means having a blood sugar level that's higher than normal but not yet persistently high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. If you have prediabetes, you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you don't take steps to prevent it.

Three types of tests can find out whether you have prediabetes:

  • Fasting plasma glucose test, or FPG

  • Oral glucose tolerance test, or OGTT

  • A1C test

If you have prediabetes, you can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes by losing weight and getting regular exercise. Ultimately, you should aim for a body mass index of 27 or less.

To lose weight, maintain your weight loss, and improve cardiovascular health, it's important to get at least 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise most days of the week. This amount can be broken up into several 20-minute sessions each day.

Always talk with your health care provider to find out more information.

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