Type 2 diabetes is very common and often does not have symptoms. That means about 80,000 adults in Minnesota may have diabetes without knowing it.
The Minnesota Department of Health is promoting an online test for diabetes or prediabetes risk. Anyone with a high score should talk with a health care provider.
The percentage of diabetic adults in Minnesota nearly doubled between 1994 and 2010. About 290,000 adults, or 7.3 percent, say they have been told by their health care team they have diabetes. National data show that only 75 percent of adults with diabetes know they have it.
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include being overweight, being older, and for women, having had gestational diabetes during a pregnancy, and having prediabetes. People of color and American Indians also have a higher risk of developing diabetes.
Prediabetes is a warning sign for diabetes and occurs when blood sugar is high, but not high enough to be considered diabetes. National studies suggest about one-third of Americans have prediabetes, which translates to around 1.4 million adults in Minnesota. For overweight people with prediabetes, losing even a small amount of weight and increasing physical activity can make a big difference.
Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger said, “Diabetes is a very treatable disease and it is important that everyone with diabetes takes steps to get their blood sugar under control and lead a healthier life.”