1 in 3 Americans could have diabetes by 2050

LOS ANGELES Thirty-year-old Miguel Quirarte didn't think he would get Type 2 diabetes so young.

"The signs were waking up in the middle of the night, a lot of urination and dehydration," said Quirarte. "So I was drinking a lot of water."

Soon government officials say he will have plenty of company.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1 in 10 have diabetes now, but the number could grow to 1 in 5 or even 1 in 3 by mid-century if current trends continue.

Factors cited by the CDC are an aging population more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, increases in minority groups that are at high risk, and people with diabetes living longer.

Type 1 diabetes, which is the classic form traditionally diagnosed in children or young adults, is when the body does not produce enough insulin to help sugar get into cells.

With Type 2 diabetes the body's cells resist insulin's attempts to transport sugar. Type 2 is most common in people who are overweight and obese, in people 60 and older, and in minority groups.

The new study shows 1 in 10 American adults have Type 2 diabetes now.

Health experts say eating properly diet and exercising regularly can reduce the risk of diabetes, and help to control the condition in people with diabetes.

Quirarte knows it can be prevented.

"I believe that people don't really know the concept of diabetes so we would need some more education," said Quirarte.

The CDC says that diabetes was not only the seventh leading cause of death in 2007, but it's the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults under age 75. It's also the leading cause of kidney failure, and non-injury leg and foot amputations among adults.

An estimated 24 million Americans have diabetes currently.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2024 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.