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New survey results show huge burden of diabetes
Date:1/26/2009

In the United States, nearly 13 percent of adults age 20 and older have diabetes, but 40 percent of them have not been diagnosed, according to epidemiologists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), whose study includes newly available data from an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). Diabetes is especially common in the elderly: nearly one-third of those age 65 and older have the disease. An additional 30 percent of adults have pre-diabetes, a condition marked by elevated blood sugar that is not yet in the diabetic range. The researchers report these findings in the February 2009 issue of Diabetes Care, which posted a pre-print version of the article online at http://diabetes.org/diabetescare.

The study compared the results of two national surveys that included a fasting blood glucose (FBG) test and 2-hour glucose reading from an OGTT. The OGTT gives more information about blood glucose abnormalities than the FBG test, which measures blood glucose after an overnight fast. The FBG test is easier and less costly than the OGTT, but the 2-hour test is more sensitive in identifying diabetes and pre-diabetes, especially in older people. Two-hour glucose readings that are high but not yet diabetic indicate a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and of developing diabetes than a high, but not yet diabetic, fasting glucose level.

"We're facing a diabetes epidemic that shows no signs of abating, judging from the number of individuals with pre-diabetes," said lead author Catherine Cowie, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a part of the NIH. "For years, diabetes prevalence estimates have been based mainly on data that included a fasting glucose test but not an OGTT. The 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, or NHANES, is the first national survey in 15 years
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Contact: Joan Chamberlain
niddkmedia@mail.nih.gov
301-496-3583
NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

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