Americans Less Healthy Than British Peers, Diabetes, Weight

Overall Health

Americans of all ages are less healthy than people in Britain, according to an extensive new research project.

A study of health surveys of 40,000 U.S. residents and 70,000 individuals in the U.K. showed that Americans had more chronic diseases than their British counterparts.  Poor health was measured in rates of obesity, elevated cholesterol, heightened inflammation factors, diabetes, and asthma.

Published: MedlinePlus

Diabetes & Diabetic Retinopathy

The figures from the Centers for Disease Control on diabetes are staggering.  The CDC estimates in 2011 that 26 million Americans have diabetes.

Their report also estimates that one in three American adults is pre-diabetic with higher than normal blood sugar levels although not yet diagnosed has having diabetes.  They project that if current trends continue that 1 in 3 American adults could have diabetes by 2050.

Type II diabetes, or adult onset diabetes constitutes 90-95% of all diabetes incidences. The risk factors for the condition are aging, being over-weight, leading a sedentary lifestyle, as well as genetic factors.  Patients with a family history of diabetes and African-Americans, American Indians, Hispanics, Alaska Native Americans, and some Asian Americans are vulnerable.

Of these patients at risk for developing diabetes, 1/4 of those over 40 with a diabetes diagnosis develop diabetic retinopathy resulting in badly damaged vision.

Weight & Diabetic Retinopathy

A new study out of the University of Washington tells us that not only does obesity make one more likely to develop diabetes, but gaining weight in your 50s and after age 65 can double your risk of diabetes later in life.  Holding on to belly fat increases the likelihood that a person will develop type 2 diabetes.  The study also indicates that losing weight after the age 65 will not reduce the risk of diabetes in the way that losing weight when you are younger.

See more information on diabetes and treatment options.

Source: CNN