Diabetes is a life-long disease where the body is not able to process blood glucose properly. Improper treatment can lead to many diabetes complications, including heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.
Scientists from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland discovered that the rate of diabetes in America has increased from 5.5% to 10.8% in the last 29 years. Still, experts say they have better control over diabetes than ever. So, why are they saying the opposite?
According to the research published in Annals of Internal Medicine, while the rate of diabetes increased from 1988, the number of misdiagnosed cases dropped from 16.3% to 10.9%.
In other words, diabetes is more apparent nowadays, but doctors are doing a good job at recognizing the symptoms of diabetes and offering a proper treatment.
Plus, there are more types of treatment options available to these people, including medications, insulin pumps, injections, as well as guidance on lifestyle choices.
Researchers found that most undiagnosed cases of diabetes were people from ethnic minorities, overweight or obese people, and those without a health insurance.
The study’s lead author and a professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Epidemiology, Elizabeth Selvin, says understanding the proportion of undiagnosed diabetes cases and to which group of patients they belong is crucial to the allocation of public health resources.
Increasing health coverage and targeted screening in these populations can help them get a proper diagnosis and treatment.
According to previous statistics, ¼ to 1/3 of people with diabetes in the US are not diagnosed with the disease. However, scientists say this number could be even higher.
The key to prevent misdiagnoses is to give people a chance to go the doctors’ office at first place. Here, they should do two screening tests.
As it seems, health care providers successfully recognize the symptoms of diabetes in patients who come in contact with the health care system.
However, the study authors say they should focus on those who are not coming in contact with the health care system to make sure there are no undiagnosed cases of diabetes.
Generally, people who show risk factors for diabetes such as obesity, or those over 45 years should test for diabetes.
Here are few tips to reduce your risk of developing diabetes.