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Diabetes Increasing in the USA

By George Grow

This is Bill White with the VOA Special English SCIENCE REPORT.

A new report says the number of adult Americans with diabetes increased sharply during the Nineteen-Nineties. Diabetes increased among adults of all races and age groups.

Diabetes is the name for several diseases with one thing in common. There is too much glucose, or sugar, in the blood. The disease develops when the body does not produce enough insulin or produces no insulin. Or the disease develops when the body cannot use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is necessary to change sugar and other food into energy.

The report says the number of adult Americans with diabetes rose by thirty-three percent between Nineteen-Ninety and Nineteen-Ninety-Eight. The largest increase was among people between the ages of thirty and thirty-nine. There was a seventy percent increase in the disease in this age group.

Sharp increases also were noted among people in different ethnic groups. Hispanic-American men and women had a thirty-eight percent increase. Whites had a twenty-nine percent increase. Blacks had a twenty-six percent increase.

The report says sixteen-million adult Americans had diabetes in Nineteen-Ninety-Eight. This is more than six percent of the population. An additional eight-hundred-thousand Americans develop the disease each year.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. It has been linked to health problems such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and kidney disease.

About ninety percent of people with the disease have Type Two Diabetes. This form of diabetes can result from weight gain and a lack of activity. The report says the percentage of Americans who are too fat also rose rapidly during the past ten years. Experts say this is because Americans eat too much and do not exercise enough.

The report says the growing number of fat Americans will have a major effect on Type Two diabetes and other serious diseases in the future. The new report is based on a telephone study that involved one-hundred-fifty-thousand people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the study. It was published in the journal Diabetes Care.

This VOA Special English SCIENCE REPORT was written by George Grow. This is Bill White.

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