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In the United States, diabetes now affects almost 24 million people, or about 8% of the population. That's an increase of more than 3 million in about 2 years, according to estimates released by the CDC. Another 57 million may have prediabetes, a condition that puts them at risk for the disease.
Diabetes, a disease associated with high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production, can lead to complications, such as heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and leg amputations. Among adults, diabetes disproportionately strikes the elderly, Native Americans, blacks, and Hispanics. The geographic distribution is disproportionate too. People in the Southeast and Appalachia have traditionally been at higher risk.
The National Diabetes Education Program, co-sponsored by the CDC and the National Institutes of Health, provides diabetes education to improve treatment and outcomes for people with diabetes, promote early diagnosis, and prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2008/r080624.htm. Accessed July 8, 2008.
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