WASHINGTON, June 10 (Xinhua) -- More than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, and one in four of these people doesn't know he or she has it, according to a government report released Tuesday.
The figure is up from the previous estimate of 26 million in 2010, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said, and it shows that 9.3 percent of Americans, or one in 11, have diabetes.
Another 86 million U.S. adults, more than one in three U.S. adults, have prediabetes, where their blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes.
The CDC said that without weight loss and moderate physical activity, 15 percent to 30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.
"These new numbers are alarming and underscore the need for an increased focus on reducing the burden of diabetes in our country, " Ann Albright, director of CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation, said in a statement.
"Diabetes is costly in both human and economic terms. It's urgent that we take swift action to effectively treat and prevent this serious disease," Albright said.
The CDC report, based on health data from 2012, also showed that 1.7 million people aged 20 years or older in the United States were newly diagnosed with diabetes in the same year.
Non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native adults are about twice as likely to have diagnosed diabetes as non- Hispanic white adults, it said.
However, for prediabetes, the percentage of U.S. adults with the condition is similar for non-Hispanic whites (35 percent), non- Hispanic blacks (39 percent) and Hispanics (38 percent).
The CDC said diabetes and its related complications accounted for 245 billion U.S. dollars in total medical costs and lost work and wages in 2012. That's up from 174 billion dollars in 2007.
Diabetes is a serious disease that can be managed through physical activity, diet, and appropriate use of insulin and oral medications to lower blood sugar levels. Another important part of diabetes management is reducing other cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and tobacco use.
People with diabetes, according to the CDC, are at increased risk of serious health complications including vision loss, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, amputation of toes, feet or legs, and premature death.