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A recent study found that nearly one in four American adolescents may be on the verge of developing type 2 diabetes or may already be diabetic. This is a sharp increase in the disease’s prevalence among children ages 12 to 19 since a decade ago when it was estimated that fewer than one in 10 were at risk for or had diabetes. This is especially worrying in light of new findings indicating that the disease progresses more rapidly in children than in adults and is harder to treat.
These adolescents join the estimated 59.7 million Americans 20 years and older who have prediabetes. Such individuals are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke and have double the risk of death due to heart attack.
The good news is that these developments are largely reversible and avoidable in the future through dietary changes and lifestyle improvements. But, it’s important first to recognize your risk factors for prediabetes. The American Diabetes Association lays out the following risk factors:
- Risk increases with age
- Men are more likely than women (one reason may be that they are less likely to see their doctor regularly)
- High blood pressure
- Low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides
- A family history of diabetes
- A history of gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
- Belonging to an ethnic or minority group at high risk for diabetes
Take the type 2 diabetes risk test here:
And for tips on how to lower your risk of developing diabetes, check out this website: