Harvard Men's Health Watch

Preventing diabetes: An action plan

America is in the grip of a diabetic epidemic. About 21 million of us have the disease, and many more have pre-diabetes. And all the indications suggest that the prevalence of diabetes will continue to soar in the years ahead.

Elevated blood glucose (sugar) levels define diabetes. A fasting blood sugar reading of 126 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or higher is enough to diagnose the disease, and levels between 100 and 126 indicate pre-diabetes. But since diabetes is a leading cause of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, visual loss, and memory loss, it's much more than a simple blood sugar problem.

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