40 Percent of Americans Will Develop Diabetes: New study

40 Percent of Americans Will Develop Diabetes: New study


About two in five Americans will develop type 2 diabetes at some point in their lives, according to the findings of a new study.

According to the study, published in the August 13, 2014 issue The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, the lifetime risk of diagnosed diabetes is 40.2 percent for the average 20-year old man, a 20 percentage point increase since the late 1980s. Among women, the lifetime risk is 39.6 percent, a 13 percentage point increase. Hispanic men and women and non-Hispanic black women have the highest lifetime risks at more than 50 percent.

Complications of diabetes

Cardiovascular disease. Diabetes dramatically increases the risk of various cardiovascular problems, including coronary artery disease with chest pain (angina), heart attack, stroke and narrowing of arteries (atherosclerosis). If you have diabetes, you are more likely to have heart disease or stroke.

Nerve damage (neuropathy). Excess sugar can injure the walls of the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that nourish your nerves, especially in your legs. This can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward. Left untreated, you could lose all sense of feeling in the affected limbs. Damage to the nerves related to digestion can cause problems with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation.

Kidney damage (nephropathy). The kidneys contain millions of tiny blood vessel clusters (glomeruli) that filter waste from your blood. Diabetes can damage this delicate filtering system. Severe damage can lead to kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease, which may require dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Eye damage (retinopathy). Diabetes can damage the blood vessels of the retina (diabetic retinopathy), potentially leading to blindness. Diabetes also increases the risk of other serious vision conditions, such as cataracts and glaucoma.

Foot damage. Nerve damage in the feet or poor blood flow to the feet increases the risk of various foot complications. Left untreated, cuts and blisters can develop serious infections, which often heal poorly. These infections may ultimately require toe, foot or leg amputation.