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1 in 8 Americans Has Type 2 Diabetes: Poll

Only 21 percent of those interviewed say they're well-versed on the disease,
Harris Interactive/HealthDay survey finds

NORWALK, Conn., USA – Feb. 20, 2013 – A staggering one in eight Americans has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll suggests.

And more than one third of those polled have been diagnosed with diabetes or have a parent, sibling, spouse or child with the condition.

"Type 2 diabetes has become one of the most common and fastest growing diseases. Fully one in eight adults – approximately 29 million people – now report that they have been diagnosed with this dangerous condition," said Harris Poll Chairman Humphrey Taylor.

Added Dr. Ronald Tamler, clinical director of the Mount Sinai Diabetes Center in New York City: "Diabetes is very insidious. You don't know you're in trouble until the complications hit or until it's so out of control you have uncontrolled urination and thirst" – two of the common symptoms of diabetes.

While type 2 diabetes is occurring in epic proportions, the new poll also found that awareness of the disease is still surprisingly low, with only 21 percent of those surveyed considering themselves well-versed on the disease. That means the remaining 79 percent may not know they're at risk or may already have the disease, which is known as the "silent" killer.

But people already diagnosed with diabetes tend to be much more aware of the health risks, with slightly more than two-thirds considering themselves either "extremely" or "very" knowledgeable about the disease, the poll found.

Still, 35 percent of respondents with diabetes said their diabetes was only "somewhat" controlled and 5 percent said it was "not at all" well controlled.

On a more encouraging note, many people polled do understand that a number of factors can contribute to type 2 diabetes, including being overweight (79 percent of respondents realize this is a risk factor), diet (74 percent) and physical inactivity (62 percent).

These numbers were greater among people who had been diagnosed with diabetes.

The poll included 2,090 U.S adults over age 18 surveyed online between Feb. 4-6, 2013 by Harris Interactive, one of the world's leading custom market research firms. HealthDay is a leading producer and syndicator of health news.

The complete findings of the newest joint Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll are available here.  HealthDay's news report is available here. Full data on the poll and its methodology are available at Harris Interactive.

About HealthDay
HealthDay is a leading producer and syndicator of evidence-based health news for consumers and physicians and is one of the largest health news syndicators to Internet sites. Its daily consumer health news service http://consumer.healthday.com/ appears on more than 5,000 websites such as Yahoo!, MSN Health, USNews.com, Everyday Health, and government websites like Healthfinder.gov, and MedlinePlus. A daily video version of the top health news story of the day is featured onHealthDay TV, a 90-second daily news broadcast appearing on several major media and U.S. government websites.

HealthDay also produces Physician's Briefing (www.physiciansbriefing.com), a daily news service for physicians and other medical professionals. This service is licensed to hospitals, managed care organizations, media companies, and point of care providers like ePocrates.

HealthDay's custom content division produces specialized content for a variety of audiences and works with some of the larger health portals in the United States.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in more than 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

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