Diabetes is a life-long disease marked by elevated levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. It can be caused by too little insulin (a chemical produced by the pancreas to regulate blood sugar), resistance to insulin, or both. Approximately 2.7 million or 11.4% of all African Americans aged 20 years or older have diabetes. However, one-third of them do not know it.
The most life-threatening consequences of diabetes are heart disease and stroke, which strike people with diabetes more than twice as often as they do others. Adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates 2 to 4 times higher than those without diabetes. African Americans with diabetes are at increased risk for heart disease, stroke and other macro vascular …show more content…
• Right away, your cells may be starved for energy.
• Over time, high blood glucose levels may hurt your eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart.
Before people develop type 2 diabetes, they almost always have "pre-diabetes" -- blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. There are 41 million people in the United States, ages 40 to 74, who have pre-diabetes. Recent research has shown that some long-term damage to the body, especially the heart and circulatory system, may already be occurring during pre-diabetes. People with pre-diabetes don't often have symptoms. In fact, millions have diabetes and don't know it because symptoms develop so gradually. Some have no symptoms at all. Symptoms of diabetes include unusual thirst, a frequent desire to urinate, blurred vision, or a feeling of being tired most of the time for no apparent reason.
There are more than 17 million Americans with diabetes with more than 1,000,000 new cases diagnosed every year. Diabetes a chronic disease and is known as a silent killer "because it annually contributes to approximately 18% of all deaths in the United States among patients who are age 25 and older.