Did you know that more than 25 percent of Americans over the age of sixty-five have Diabetes? And that the disease is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States? Even though diabetes is a common condition, and a serious one, there’s still plenty of important information many of us just don’t know. For example …
You may not know you have diabetes: Not only is diabetes often asymptomatic, many times its symptoms such as such as fatigue, blurry vision and mood swings are over-looked.
The size of your tummy can be critical: The most dangerous place to carry extra padding is around your stomach. A waist measurement of more than 32 inches for women and 37 inches for men poses an increased risk of diabetes.
Green leafy vegetables cut your chance of developing diabetes: A 2010 UK study published in the British Medical Journal reports that a greater intake of green leafy vegetables can equate to a 14 per cent reduction in diabetes risk.
Skipping breakfast puts you at risk: Research shows people who skipped breakfast during their childhood, and then continued to do so as adults, have a larger waist circumference and higher cholesterol levels (both contributors towards diabetes) than those who’ve eaten breakfast regularly throughout their lives.
It runs in families: If you have one diabetic parent, you’re twice as likely to develop the disease. If both parents are diabetic, your risk factor is six times higher. If you also have a sibling with type 2 diabetes, it’s four times higher than average.
Diabetes will cost you: The most recent figures show the total health cost of Type 2 diabetes is $5,360 per year for a person without complications, increasing to $9,645 a year once diabetes-related complications have kicked in. The cost to the nation? About $3 billion a year.
Working out can help: University of Michigan researchers found aerobic workouts, like walking, swimming or cycling, can improve insulin resistance and reduce your chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
There’s a sleep connection: One study found that people who sleep fewer than six hours a night are three times more likely to develop incident-impaired fasting glycemia (IFG), a pre-cursor to diabetes. However, too much sleep might be just as risky. Canadian researchers found the risk of type 2 diabetes doubles among people who sleep more than eight hours a night.
Robin Westen is ThirdAge's medical reporter. Check for her daily updates. Her latest book, coauthored with Dr. Alyssa Dweck, is "V Is For Vagina."
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