Posts Tagged ‘lack health insurance’

Most Prediabetics Have No Idea About Their Condition

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Can you believe that 9 out of 10 people who are prediabetic don’t even know it?  That number was pretty staggering to me, although it shouldn’t be given the amount of Americans who avoid going to the doctor.  Whether it’s because they lack health insurance or are afraid of what they’ll find out at a doctor visit, too many Americans don’t take care of themselves.  My Health News Daily’s Rachael Rettner wrote about recent results from a CDC study in Live Science’s “90% of People with Prediabetes Don’t Know It.”

The Centers for Disease Control state that 79 million people in the U.S. are prediabetic.  This means that although their sugar levels are not high enough to be classified as a diabetic, the levels are abnormally high.  High sugar levels mean that a prediabetic has a greater chance of developing Type 2 diabetes in the future.  There are easy steps that prediabetics can take to nearly eliminate their chances of developing diabetes in the future.  Exercising, eating healthy foods, and maintaining a healthy weight are good ways to stop your prediabetes.  Of those prediabetics who don’t take steps like this to  manage their blood sugar, the CDC says that up to 30% of them will develop diabetes within five years.

While it seems dismal that just under 11% of people with prediabetes know they have it today, that number is actually an increase from the last study in 2005-2006.  At that time, only 7% of those with prediabetes were aware of their condition.  Those who were  most likely to know about their prediabetes also had other conditions being treated by doctors.  Fourteen percent of people taking medicine for either high cholesterol or high blood pressure were aware of their prediabetes versus 6% of those not taking medication for those conditions.  Ten percent of obese people were aware of their prediabetes versus 4% of people who were normal weight.

The CDC is looking for ways to increase the awareness of prediabetes in Americans, so that more people can take healthy steps before becoming diabetic.  Insurance companies have a stake in improving this knowledge as well because each person who doesn’t develop diabetes saves them loads of money.  Many insurers are working to increase the good health programs offered to their policyholders.  Our last blog about free preventive health services being offered by insurance companies because of the Affordable Care Act is important in this story as well.  The earlier people see the doctor for routine visits and find out they might be prediabetic, the better chance they have to take better care of themselves and avoid developing life threatening conditions.