YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – About 30 million Americans have diabetes — that’s just under 10 percent of the population. About one-quarter of people who have the disease don’t even know it.
In Ohio, that rate is at 9.5 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Manivel Eswaran, who specializes in endocrinology at Trumbull Regional Medical Center, says Trumbull County has an even higher concentration of diabetes.
“In this area in Ohio, in Trumbull County, it is actually a little bit more that the whole country statistics. It’s at about 11 percent,” Eswaran said.
According to a 2008 Healthy Ohio Community Profile for Trumbull County, 37.4 percent of adult residents were overweight and 25 percent were obese — a leading factor in diabetes.
About nine out of 10 people with diabetes have Type 2. It’s when the body doesn’t use insulin the right way and can’t keep blood sugar at a normal level.
Risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes include:
- Over 40 years old
- Family history
- Obesity (Body mass index (BMI) over 30)
Eswaran said even being overweight, not just obese, is an indicator for the disease.
“I would tell you if you are overweight, which is a BMI of over 25, then talk to your doctor about considering a test for diabetes,” Eswaran said.
For those who have the disease, diet and exercise can greatly reduce the effects, and medication isn’t a cure-all.
“Nothing is going to function as well as it could or should if a person had diabetes,” said Dr. James Leone, a nutrition specialist. “Even if their diabetes is so-called controlled with medication, a person is still diabetic.”
Diabetes is a life changing disease that brings other issues with it, including the risk of heart disease, kidney problems, eye issues and the possibility of losing fingers and toes. The financial toll is a big one, too.
“People don’t realize how much financial impact it has on their lives and the psychological impact it has on their lives,” Eswaran said.
According to diabetes.org, diabetics incur average medical expenditures of about $13,700 per year, of which $7,900 is attributed to diabetes.
According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the rate of diabetes diagnoses is growing among children. The incidences of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes increased significantly between 2002 and 2012. The disease is more prevalent in girls than boys and the highest numbers are among non-Hispanic blacks and Native Americans.