Diabetes: The Growing Epidemic
The rise in the rate of diabetes has been called a diabetes epidemic by the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), with an estimated 21 million people in the United States living with diabetes today, one-third of whom are undiagnosed. To highlight local prevention efforts, King County Executive Ron Sims is proclaiming World Diabetes Day, November 14, as Diabetes Day in King County.
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in King County. Diabetes prevalence rose from 2.7% in 1995 -1997 to 5.2% during 2002-2004. Diabetes disproportionately affects certain ethnic groups, such as African Americans and American Indians/Alaska Natives, and low-income populations.
"Current statistics for diabetes and its health complications are grim, yet the possibilities for preventing and controlling this growing epidemic are within reach," said Dorothy Teeter, Interim Director and Health Officer for Public Health - Seattle & King County. "Early diagnosis, improved nutrition and more physical activity can lead to improved prevention and management of diabetes."
Adding to the risk factors contributing to the development of diabetes is the unprecedented numbers of overweight adults and children.