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Diabetes: Widespread, Poorly Understood

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Diabetes: Widespread, Poorly Understood

October 03, 2008

As of 2007, almost 8 percent of Americans – nearly 24 million people – suffer from diabetes, a serious and chronic condition that can lead to complications such as blindness, amputations or even death, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About a quarter of them don't know they have the disease. In recent years, rising obesity rates have been linked to a striking rise in the number of Type 2 diabetes cases, particularly among children and teens. Between 5 and 10 percent of diabetics have Type 1 diabetes (sometimes called juvenile diabetes), which is caused by the body's failure to produce insulin and is not linked to obesity, according to the CDC. A third type of diabetes, gestational, can develop during pregnancy. An estimated 57 million Americans suffer from pre-diabetes--higher than normal blood glucose levels that put them at high risk of developing diabetes. Updated March 2010

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2015 National Fellow Michael LaForgia of the Tampa Bay Times and two colleagues, Cara Fitzpatrick and Lisa Gartner, received the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Local Reporting for LaForgia's Fellowship Project, "Failure Factories." 

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