Here are some quick but important facts about diabetes.
- Diabetes is the fourth or fifth leading cause of death in most developed countries.
- More than 194 million people worldwide are diabetic.
- More than 22 million children under five years old are obese or overweight and each one of these children is at a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Diabetes can be generally grouped into two types: Type 1 (juvenile diabetes) and Type 2 (adult onset diabetes). There are many other types of diabetes, but the vast majority can be classified into these two types.
- Type 1 diabetes is usually common in children or teens, but can also present itself at any age.
- In Type 2 diabetes, which affects Hispanics, Blacks, Asians, and American Indians more frequently, one must have both a resistance to the effects of insulin (so more insulin is required to maintain a normal glucose) and some degree of insulin deficiency.
- Type 2 diabetes usually (but not always) occur in overweight people who also have other risk factors, such as heart attack or stroke including high blood pressure and dyslipidemia (high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol).
- People with type 2 diabetes often suffer from their disease for years before they are diagnosed. Hence, screening is recommended for all high-risk individuals, which would include everyone over 45 years of age, people with a strong family history of type 2 diabetes, and women who had diabetes during a pregnancy (gestational diabetes).