Disease Prevention in Men (cont.)

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Type II diabetes mellitus

Diabetes mellitus is a condition with elevated blood sugar level (hyperglycemia) due to impaired utilization of insulin, decreased production of insulin, or both.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. An estimated 18% of all Americans over 65 years of age have diabetes. Over ten million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes, and at least half as many more are thought to have diabetes that is undiagnosed. Many more have a condition that precedes diabetes, referred to as prediabetes, characterized by elevated blood sugar levels but to a lesser degree than is present in those with diabetes.

Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults aged 20-74 years, the leading cause of chronic kidney failure, and the leading cause of lower extremity amputations not related to injury. Individuals with diabetes are two to four times as likely to have a heart attack or stroke as are those without diabetes.

Tests or procedures for type II diabetes mellitus

Tests for diabetes mellitus

  • Fasting blood sugar (blood sugar test after at least 8 hours without calories), normal level less than 126 mg/dl
  • Two hour postprandial blood sugar (blood sugar test 2 hours after a meal), normal level less than 140mg/dl

Who to test and how often

Healthy adults over 45 years should have fasting blood glucose level checked every 3 years.

Adults at a higher than normal risk of developing diabetes mellitus should be checked more frequently than every three years; these individuals include:

  • People who are overweight
  • Blood relatives with type II diabetes
  • Certain ethnic groups such as certain Native Americans, African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians
  • Individuals with prediabetes
  • Low HDL cholesterol (35 mg/dl. or less) or elevated triglyceride level (over 250 mg/dl)

Benefits of early detection

  • Diabetes mellitus can cause atherosclerosis that can lead to heart attack, stroke, and compromise of arterial circulation to the legs and feet. Diabetes mellitus also can damage the nerves, eyes, and kidneys.
  • Diabetes mellitus commonly causes organ damage without symptoms until extensive damage is present.
  • There is good evidence that controlling hyperglycemia in diabetes with medications, diet, weight control, and regular exercise can slow the development of atherosclerosis and heart, eye, nerve, and kidney damage.
  • There is good evidence that curtailing total calorie intake (especially intake of processed starches, sugar and sweets), regular exercise, and losing excess weight can help prevent the development of type II diabetes mellitus, especially in adults at higher than normal risk of developing diabetes.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/16/2014

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