Both diabetes and prediabetes (which results when blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but aren’t high enough to be considered full diabetes) are serious issues in the United States. A new study revealed that residents of California in particular face a high risk of diabetes. The study, which was performed by researchers at UCLA (University of California Los Angeles), revealed that almost 50 percent of all Californian adults either have elevated blood sugar levels that could lead to diabetes or have undiagnosed diabetes.
UCLA researchers had access to the health data of over 6,400 people from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey as well as the health data from another 40,000 people that was provided by the California Health Interview Survey.
Research revealed that around 33 percent of all Californians between the ages of 18 and 39 had the elevated blood glucose levels that are characteristic of prediabetes. Prediabetes results in a much higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, which is an endocrine disease in which the body can’t properly use insulin— it’s more often seen in older adults.
One of the problems with prediabetes is that experts are still divided as to how often prediabetes actually develops into full-blown diabetes. Many medical experts believe that medicalizing large populations based on specific health indicators is a mistake. Either way, public health advocates are trying to increase awareness of the condition in an attempt to improve access to medical screenings as well as encourage lifestyle changes to prevent the disease.
Unfortunately, California spends less on diabetes prevention than any other state—and according to a 2015 state auditor’s report, it relies on federal grants instead of state money for its programs. However, a bill was recently introduced that would require the Department of Public Health to improve its reporting on the effect of diabetes on the state as well as its efforts to prevent diabetes.
Diabetes is a serious concern for California residents. Keep up to date with the latest health news in California by visiting us at The Benefits Store.