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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Teams with Chicago Bears Coach Lovie Smith in Diabetes Awareness Drive
Date:3/26/2009

s Association (ADA), and more than 90 percent of those have type 2, says the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Among people age 65 or older, the figure climbs to more than 20 percent. Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of U.S. deaths in 2006, reports the Centers for Disease Control, and a recent analysis of health records of 379,000 Canadians with type 2 diabetes finds people who are also at moderate or high risk of cardiovascular disease have life expectancies 18 years less than non-diabetics.

Keeping your glucose level close to normal helps prevent or delay the onset of complications. So does managing your cholesterol. Your goal should be keeping your "bad" cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) level less than 100 mg per dL (decileter) of blood. Studies of type 2 diabetes show an overwhelming majority of cases can be prevented by adopting a healthier lifestyle. The most well-known proof comes from the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a random control research study of 3,234 overweight and pre-diabetic people. Researchers wanted to know which of two treatments was better at preventing the onset of diabetes: modest weight loss and increased exercise or an oral diabetes drug. Participants age 60 and over on average lowered their risk of developing diabetes by 71 per cent by eating less and exercising a total of 150 minutes a week. The oral drug group, in comparison, registered a reduced risk of only 31 percent.

Other diabetes factors

Diabetes is not always caused entirely by lifestyle, says endocrinologist Renee Schickler, M.D., an endocrinologist who sees diabetes patients at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center and Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago. "We suspect diabetes is caused by a combination of obesity and sedentary lifestyle in people who are genetically susceptible." Aerobic exercise is particularly effective in glucose control, she says, because it has an "insulin-like effect," enhancing the up
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SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois - Health Care
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