Expanded Research on Diabetes

Researchers have made great progress in the treatment and prevention in diabetes. Changing your lifestyle can cut your chances of developing diabetes by 58 percent.

More than 10 million Americans are at serious risk for developing Type 2 diabetes and another 16 million already have it, but since 1996 there has been a nationwide study to examine ways of prevention.

Researchers say changing your lifestyle can result in a five percent loss in body weight or the use of medicine called Metformin can effectively reduce the progression of pre-diabetes to diabetes.

Doctors are expanding their research to a new phase called the Dream Trial, it will examine how medications may prevent Type 2 diabetes. The Dream Trial involves 114 centers worldwide including 25 in the U.S.

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Who Gets Diabetes?

Diabetes is not contagious. People cannot "catch" it from each other. However, certain factors can increase the risk of developing diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes occurs equally among males and females, but is more common in whites than in nonwhites. Data from the World Health Organization's Multinational Project for Childhood Diabetes indicate that type 1 diabetes is rare in most African, American Indian, and Asian populations.

However, some northern European countries, including Finland and Sweden, have high rates of type 1 diabetes. The reasons for these differences are not known.

Type 2 diabetes is more common in older people, especially in people who are overweight, and occurs more often in African Americans, American Indians, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, and Hispanic Americans.

On average, non-Hispanic African Americans are 1.7 times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites of the same age.

Hispanic Americans are nearly twice as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites. American Indians have the highest rates of diabetes in the world. Among the Pima Indians living in Arizona, for example, half of all adults have type 2 diabetes.

The prevalence of diabetes in the United States is likely to increase for several reasons.

First, a large segment of the population is aging. Also, Hispanic Americans and other minority groups make up the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population.

Finally, Americans are increasingly overweight and sedentary. According to recent estimates, the prevalence of diabetes in the United States is predicted to be 8.9 percent of the population by 2025.

Source: http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health/diabetes/pubs/dmover/dmover.htm#scope (National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse).