Diabetes awareness month

5 things to know about diabetes

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes. Here are five things to know about this prolific condition.


November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and World Diabetes Day has been recognized on Nov. 14 every year since 1991. It was created by the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. The campaign’s theme for 2017 is Women and Diabetes.

Across the globe, 415 million people have diabetes. If nothing is done, it is estimated that this number will rise to 642 million by 2040, according to the IDF.

Here are five things physicians should know about diabetes.

Diabetes in the U.S. A national report card on diabetes released in July by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that diabetes is as American as apple pie. Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes, which puts them at a high risk for developing the condition.

Nearly a quarter of Americans with diabetes don’t know they have it. More than 7 million Americans have diabetes and don’t know it, according to the CDC. In all, 30.3 million Americans, or 9.4% of the U.S. population, have diabetes. Of those, 23 million have been diagnosed with the condition.

There are new guidelines for managing Type 2 diabetes in primary care. From onset of disease to diagnosis, complications with diabetes can arise, including chronic kidney disease, heart failure, retinopathy and neuropathy. Early detection and diagnosis is critical in saving lives and preventing or delaying devastating complications.

The new IDF Clinical Practice Recommendations for Managing Type 2 Diabetes in Primary Care offer the latest evidence around optimal management of people with Type 2 diabetes.

What about women? Across the world today, there are 199 million women living with diabetes, according to the IDF. By 2040, that number is projected to rise to 313 million. Women with Type 2 diabetes are almost 10 times more likely to have heart disease, and diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women globally.

Prevention is possible. If a patient has been diagnosed with prediabetes, it doesn’t mean that they will get Type 2 diabetes. Joining a diabetes prevention program can help reverse prediabetes and prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes, according to the CDC.

The lifestyle change programs also lower patients’ risk of having a stroke or heart attack.  Physicians can help patients find a CDC-recognized diabetes prevention course by directing them to this web page.

Diabetes prevalence varies among different groups. According to the CDC, among U.S. adults:

• American Indians/Alaska Natives had the highest prevalence of diagnosed diabetes for both men (14.9%) and women (15.3%).

• Overall, prevalence was higher among American Indians/Alaska Natives (15.1%), non-Hispanic blacks (12.7%), and people of Hispanic ethnicity (12.1%) than among non-Hispanic whites (7.4%) and Asians (8.0%).

• Prevalence varied by education level, which is an indicator of socioeconomic status. Specifically, 12.6% of adults with less than a high school education had diagnosed diabetes versus 9.5% of adults who graduated from high school and 7.2% of those with more than a high school education.

As we approach World Diabetes Day, here are some related posts popping up across social media.


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