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Millions of Americans Unaware They Have Diabetes

Did you know there are millions of Americans who do not know they have diabetes? The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that about 29 million Americans have the disease but only a small percentage of them know they have it.

Of these diabetics, around 8 million are oblivious while an additional 86 million are considered as prediabetics but only 11 percent of them are aware. In the U.S., diabetes ranks 7th as the leading cause of death.

Insulin converts the blood sugar into energy. When a person is unable to produce sufficient quantities of insulin, it results in high levels of glucose in the blood; in the medical books, this is categorized as type 1 diabetes. However, if the body becomes resistant to insulin, this is classified as type 2 diabetes.

One of the leading causes that increases the risk for type 2 diabetes is the frequent consumption of sugary drinks.

According to Fumiaki Imamura and colleagues at the School of Clinical Medicine of the University of Cambridge, sugar-sweetened beverages ups the risk for diabetes by 18 percent. These drinks are also closely linked to an increase in the risk of obesity.

For this study, Imamura’s team reviewed 17 studies, which involved around 38,000 cases of type 2 diabetes. The group estimated that around 2 million new cases of type 2 diabetes will happen in the U.S. for the period 2010 to 2020; for the U.K., around 80,000 new cases are estimated to emerge.

“This study informs the potential efficacy of reducing the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in a contemporary population,” the researchers wrote.