Many adults at risk for diabetes don’t know it

Many adults at risk for diabetes don’t know it

diabetes risk

About 40 percent of adults who are at high risk for type 2 diabetes are either unaware of their vulnerability or don’t believe they have any risk factors for the disease at all, according to a survey by the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

In fact, about 80

percent of patients at risk for diabetes think they are in excellent or good health.

“These findings suggest it is critical for providers to connect the dots with patients between risk factors and disease development,” said Virginia Peragallo-Dittko, RN, incoming chair of the ADA’s prevention committee.

A total of 1,426 people age 40 and older were surveyed over the phone in April of this year. Two months later, surveyors contacted 601 health care providers, including doctors, nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants.

Among the findings from the two surveys:

  • About 70 percent of adults with modifiable risk factors for diabetes—such as high blood pressure, smoking or being overweight—didn’t think they were vulnerable to the disease.
  • 40 percent of at-risk adults believed they didn’t have any risk for diabetes or prediabetes (a precursor to full-blown diabetes), even if their family history or ethnicity puts them at increased risk.
  • Less than half of the at-risk patients had talked about their blood glucose levels, blood pressure or cholesterol levels with their health care provider.
  • About 75 percent of health care providers didn’t think their patients were very knowledgeable about their risk for type 2 diabetes.
The take-home message
If you’re unsure of your risk for type 2 diabetes, talk with your doctor.You can also learn more about your risk factors by taking a short risk assessment.

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