2 Your Health: 5 million more people living with diabetes - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

2 Your Health: 5 million more people living with diabetes

2 Your Health: 5 million more people living with diabetes

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An estimated 22.3 million people were living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes in 2012, according to the new report, up from 17.5 million in 2007.

The growing population is due to several factors. Diabetes prevalence increases with age, so the aging baby boomer population is attributing to rising costs. The obesity epidemic also plays a role. Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Unfortunately, not all risk factors can be controlled, Petersen said. African-Americans, American Indians and Asian-Americans are all at a greater risk of developing diabetes than Caucasians, leading researchers to believe there is a genetic link.

Diabetes can cause serious health problems such as heart disease, kidney failure and blindness, according to the CDC. If it's not kept under control, diabetes also can cause infections that may lead to leg or foot amputations.

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