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USA: 1 in 8 has type 2 diabetes

More than one-third of respondents said they have a parent, sibling, spouse or child with the condition

According to a surgery conducted by Harris Interactive/HealthDay, one in eight Americans have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The poll, which included 2,090 US adults over age 18 surveyed online in February, reported that more than one-third of respondents said they have a parent, sibling, spouse or child with the condition."

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

Despite the prevalence of the condition, the survey also found that awareness of the disease is still surprisingly low, with only 21% of those surveyed considering themselves well-versed on the disease.

"Diabetes is very insidious,” said Dr. Ronald Tamler, clinical director of the Mount Sinai Diabetes Center, New York City. “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.”

Of those people who are already diagnosed with diabetes, two-thirds consider themselves either "extremely" or "very" knowledgeable about the disease, the poll found. However, 35% of respondents with diabetes said their diabetes was only "somewhat" controlled and 5% said it was "not at all" well controlled.

The poll reported that many people do understand that a number of factors can contribute to type 2 diabetes, including being overweight (79% of respondents realise this is a risk factor), diet (74%) and physical inactivity (62%). These numbers were greater among people who had been diagnosed with diabetes.

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