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Number of People with Diabetes in North Carolina has Doubled

PHOTO: Swain County has the highest death rate when it comes to diabetes, with McDowell, Cleveland, Caldwell and Wilkes Counties also having high rates, according to the WNC Vitality Index. Image credit: WNC Vitality Index
PHOTO: Swain County has the highest death rate when it comes to diabetes, with McDowell, Cleveland, Caldwell and Wilkes Counties also having high rates, according to the WNC Vitality Index. Image credit: WNC Vitality Index
November 3, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. – The arrival of November means it is American Diabetes Month.

It comes as the prevalence of the disease continues to rise across the state and nation.

David Becker, a spokesman for the American Diabetes Association, says the latest numbers show 29 million Americans with diabetes, and the toll on health can be great, including kidney failure, blindness, amputations and more.

"There are a lot of co-morbid diseases as far as diabetes and cancer and heart disease,” he points out. “It all kind of is interrelating."

Becker says about 95 percent of those people who have diabetes have Type 2, which healthier lifestyle choices with nutrition and physical activity can help prevent. According to the National Institutes of Health, the rate of diagnosed diabetes cases in North Carolina has nearly doubled to more than 650,000. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the state.

Becker notes that even some simple, small changes with healthy eating and regular exercise can yield big results.

"If you lose just 7 percent of your body weight, you can decrease your chances of getting diabetes by 58 percent," he stresses.

If the current trends don't change, it's estimated that by 2050, 30 percent of all Americans will have diabetes.



Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC