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One in Three Americans Born in 2000 will have Diabetes: Study

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CHICAGO, Oct 7 (AFP) - An estimated one in three Americans born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes, according to a study published Tuesday which quantified the health risks from the nation's obesity-related health epidemic.

The lifetime-risk is higher for women than for men, and highest among Hispanics, who now constitute the United States' largest minority group, and has serious implications in terms of life expectancy, the authors said.

The lifetime risk for men developing the debilitating condition is 32.8 percent for males, 38.5 percent for females, rising to 45.4 percent and 52.5 percent for Hispanic males and females, respectively.

The implications for life expectancy are startling, according to the researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.

Men diagnosed with the adult-onset form of the disease, age 40, may see their life expectancy curtailed by 11 years, while women similarly diagnosed may lose as much as 14 years, according to the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The grim statistics, culled from an analysis of a national health survey, census data and diabetes study, bolster the case for intervention, the authors said.

"Our estimates of lifetime risk of diabetes and life-years ... lost due to diabetes further support concerted action to prevent diabetes and its complications," the authors wrote.

The case was all the more compelling given the improvements seen in people who reported modest weight loss, undertook regular exercise or took drugs to treat the glucose-intolerance condition, they said.

The prevalence of diagnosed diabetes among US adults has increased by 40 percent in 10 years from 4.9 percent in 1990 to 6.9 percent in 1999, according to the CDC.

It is estimated that the number of individuals in the United States with diagnosed diabetes will increase by 165 percent between 2000 and 2050, with the fastest increase occurring in older and minority subpopulations.



COPYRIGHT 2003 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved.

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