More People Living with Diabetes - 8 News NOW

More People Living with Diabetes

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A new federal study illustrates the rising tide of diabetes, showing a significant increase over two years. Over that time frame, the number of Americans with diabetes increased by 15-percent, to a staggering 24 million. About 8-percent of the population now has the disease, mainly type-2, which is linked to obesity and sedentary living.

"Testing supplies absolutely are critical, because the balance of blood sugar is the most important thing in containing it," said Robb Miller with Diabetic Life Supply.

In May, Miller opened a business in Las Vegas that caters solely to diabetics. They deliver medical products such as testing strips and insulin directly to the patient's home. He says demand is high, "We expected to grow, but we're receiving between 15 to 20 patients a week."

Las Vegas Endocrinologist Reid Litchfield says the increase in diabetes has to do in part with Americans living longer and heavier. There's also a greater ethnic population genetically predisposed to diabetes. Plus, more people than ever are being tested and diagnosed.

But Miller believes that while diabetes is rising, awareness of the disease is not. And he's often surprised at how many people are reluctant to manage their diabetes.

"I had a Hispanic friend, didn't do anything, didn't test his blood properly, I never saw him take insulin. I knew he was insulin dependent and it killed him, 36-years-old. He died of complications from diabetes. Totally preventable if he'd just done the right things. Test your blood, exercise, change your diet," he said.

Worldwide, diabetes cases are expected to reach 366 million by the year 2030.

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