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Too Few Understand Diabetes' Dangers
Date:10/28/2008

dents, 3 percent, and fire, 2 percent.

Asked to note their concerns with animal or insect contact, 13 percent noted snake bites and 8 percent spider bites. Four percent mentioned shark attacks.

About 70 confirmed shark attacks occur globally each year, experts estimate, and in 2007, 491 people died in plane crashes.

In contrast, 233,619 Americans died in 2005 from causes related to diabetes, the ADA noted.

The survey results suggest people need to assess their diabetes risk and take it more seriously, Albright said. Keeping to a healthy weight, or shedding excess pounds, is one big step to reducing the odds for diabetes. In fact, losing just 5 percent or 10 percent of body weight can help, she said.

The results suggest that people need to increase their awareness of diabetes risk, added Dr. David M. Nathan, director of the Diabetes Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He reviewed the poll results but was not involved in the survey.

People "should be more concerned about getting it," Nathan said. The good news is they can sometimes prevent it with lifestyle change and, if they are diagnosed, keep diabetes under control.

Amparo Gonzalez, president of the American Association of Diabetes Educators, agreed.

"The finding that only 3 percent of people surveyed feared being diagnosed with diabetes is surprising," Gonzalez said. Like Nathan, she emphasized that the disease is often preventable if lifestyle changes are made in time.

More information

To learn more about your diabetes risk, visit the American Diabetes Association.



SOURCES: Amparo Gonzalez, R.N., president, American Association of Diabetes Educators, Chicago; David Nathan, M.D., director, Diabetes Center, Massachusetts General Hospital
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