Chronic Disease Highlight: Diabetes

Dec. 6, 2022

More than 37 million adults in the United States have diabetes, with one in five individuals not knowing that they have it. There are almost 600,000 adults living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes in Arizona, and an estimated 1 in 3 Arizonans have prediabetes. Diabetes is a long-lasting health condition that affects an individual’s ability to turn food into energy. After eating, the body breaks down food into sugars released into the bloodstream and signals for the pancreas to release insulin that allows blood cells to use the sugar for energy. There are two primary types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Approximately 5-10% of people with diabetes have type 1, which is caused by an auto-immune reaction that stops the pancreas from making insulin. About 90-95% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes which develops over many years and is usually diagnosed in adults, although more children, teens, and young adults have been diagnosed within recent years. In the United States, 96 million adults have a higher-than-normal blood sugar level that is not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes yet. But without lifestyle changes, adults and children with prediabetes are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Although there is currently no cure for type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle choices such as losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active. 

Find out if you are at risk of having prediabetes by taking a free online risk test!