Nearly one out of 10 adults in the United is now diagnosed with diabetes, according to new research, which suggests obesity is to blame for the surge.
The percentage of people with diabetes, a disease that causes blood sugar levels to increase, has doubled since 1988, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The same increase appears to hold true for those with pre-diabetes.
“There is a growing need to recognize this serious issue, especially since most cases of diabetes can be prevented through weight loss and other lifestyle changes,” said lead author Elizabeth Selvin, associated professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
While the number of people with diabetes has increased significantly, there appears to be fewer people undiagnosed – suggesting that more people were being screened and diagnosed over the last 20 years, a news release states. Currently, only 11 percent of diabetes cases in the U.S. are undiagnosed.
“The implications of the increase in pre-diabetes and diabetes are enormous but the good news is we are doing better with screening and diagnosis,” Selvin said.
Researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for their study, which included more than 43,000 people.
The study’s findings appear in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
+ Learn about diabetes care plans at Bon Secours Hampton Roads Health System.
+ Read about our medically-supervised weight loss program at the Bon Secours Weight Loss Institute.