Diabetes Essay

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Definition: Diabetes is a chronic disease for which there is no current cure. It is characterized by the fact that the blood in the body of the person with the disease contains a high sugar level. The disease is caused by the body's resistance to insulin, or the inability to manufacture insulin, or a combination of both of these factors (National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine [NCBI, NLM], 2011). Incidence and prevalence: In the United States of America, diabetes affects approximately 25.8 million people of all ages. This represents about 8.3 percent of the U.S. population (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases [NIDDK], 2011). It is believed that of the 25.8 million people affected by the disease, 7 million have not been officially diagnosed. Other facts about the incidence, prevalence, and occurrence of diabetes include; in 2010, just over a quarter of all U.S. residents over the age of 65 had diabetes, and between 2005–2008, just over a third of U.S. residents aged 20 years and older had pre-diabetes (NIDDK, 2011). The American Diabetes Association defines pre-diabetes as a condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not quite high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes (American Diabetes Association [ADA], 2011). Pre-diabetes is often a precursor to type II diabetes. If physicians can detect pre-diabetes early enough, the patient can be placed into a diabetes prevention program, and type II diabetes can be avoided. More facts from the NIDDK indicate that diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower-limb amputations, and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States. It is also a major cause of heart disease and stroke, as well as the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Presentation: As the aforementioned numbers suggest,

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