Analysis of Americans between 40 and 85 years of age reveals that between 1999 and 2006 the prevalence of hypertension, coronary heart disease and stroke remained stable, but diabetes rose 2%. Significant improvements were found in control of blood pressure, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, and total cholesterol. However, gaps between white and nonwhite patients did not change, although they were smaller after age 65 when universal Medicare insurance begins.
The increased prevalence of diabetes is of great concern. Most risk for these diseases are preventable through simple, healthful lifestyle choices. Physical activity, ideal weight, plenty of fruits and vegetables in the diet, and a low fat intake go a long way in preventing these problems.