Diabetes is a disease that affects the body's ability to produce or respond to insulin, a hormone that allows blood glucose (blood sugar) to enter the cells of the body and be used for energy.
Diabetes falls into two main categories: Type 1, which usually occurs during childhood or adolescence, and Type 2, the most common form of the disease, usually occurring after age 45.
Approximately 8.1 million or 8.2% of all women in the United States have diabetes, however, about a third of them do not know it. With its complications -- blindness, kidney disease, amputations, heart attack and stroke -- diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death (sixth-leading cause of death by disease) in the United States.
Approximately 2.3 million or 10.8% of all African Americans have diabetes; however, one-third of them do not know it. The prevalence of Type 2 diabetes is 2 times higher in Latinos than non-Latinos whites. Approximately 24% of Mexican Americans in the United States. 26% of Puerto Ricans between the ages of 45-74 have diabetes. Nearly 16% of Cuban Americans in the United States between the ages of 45-74 have diabetes.
Source: American Diabetes Association
For more information, please call Baystate Health Link at Baystate Medical Center at 1-800-377-HEALTH.