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CDC Official Says Diabetes Has Gone Global

Audio

Aired 4/30/10

The woman in charge of putting diabetes research into practice for the Centers for Disease Control, spoke of the "global" epidemic of diabetes during a San Diego symposium yesterday.

— The woman in charge of putting diabetes research into practice, for the Centers for Disease Control, spoke of the global epidemic of diabetes during a San Diego symposium Thursday.

Ann Albright says adult-onset diabetes, which is tied to obesity, is a huge problem for the U.S., which has 24 million diabetics. But the disease has traveled across the world.

In fact, Albright says both India and China have larger populations of diabetics than the U.S. Part of that is due to larger populations in those two countries. Also, she said people of Asian descent are at risk for diabetes at a lower weight, or a lower body mass index, than members of other ethnic groups.

"So for example when we talk about BMIs over 24 being at risk," she said, "we say actually in the Asian population 22 would be the BMI you'd be concerned about."

Albright said diabetes is the leading cause of adult blindness, kidney disease and non-traumatic limb amputation. Albright spoke at San Diego State University.

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