More than 1 in 3 adults are considered prediabetic; however, most don’t know they have it.
November is American Diabetes Month and a time to raise awareness about this important public health issue.
According to Healthy People 2030, more than 30 million people in the United States have diabetes. It is also the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
Locally, diabetes ranks as the 7th leading cause of death for Cambria and Somerset County (PA Department of Health):
- Cambria County (23.7 per 100,000 people)
- Somerset County (43.6 per 100,000 people)
Both rates are higher than the Pennsylvania rate of 21.2 per 100,000 people.
The 2023 County Health Rankings reports that diabetes prevalence (adults living with a diabetes diagnosis) in Cambria County is 9% and is 10% in Somerset County.
There are three main types of diabetes:
- Type 1 – Thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction, which causes the body to stop making insulin
- Type 2 – The body doesn’t use insulin well and can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels
- Gestational – Develops in pregnant women who have never had diabetes
While no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed through healthy lifestyle changes such as losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active.
Behavioral risk factors for diabetes in Cambria and Somerset County are worse than the state and national numbers, according to 2023 County Health Rankings.
|Cambria County||Somerset County||Pennsylvania||United States|
|Access to exercise opportunities||81%||65%||86%||84%|
|Adults reporting poor or fair health||14%||15%||13%||12%|
|Poor physical health days||3.6||3.5||3.1||3.0|
Taking control of your health by quitting smoking, getting exercise, and eating healthy food is an important component of preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes.
Gestational diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born; however, it increases the risk for type 2 diabetes later in life. The baby is also more likely to have obesity as a child or teenager and develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
During November, take a moment to learn more about your risk for diabetes by taking the Centers for Disease Control: Take The Test | Prediabetes | CDC.