Eight Surprising Facts About Diabetes
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."