Too few know about pre-diabetes. Too many American adults are aware of “pre-diabetes” and not enough take action to reduce their risk, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released Thursday. People with pre-diabetes – a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes – are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. But lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise can prevent or delay development of diabetes and its complications, the CDC says. More than 25 percent of Americans are pre-diabetic, according to the CDC. But only 4 percent of adults had ever been told they had the condition, according to the agency’s 2006 study of about 24,000 adults who took part in the 2006 U.S. National Health Interview Survey. Of the 984 people in the study who’d been told they had pre-diabetes, 64.4 percent were told they had borderline diabetes; 38.3 percent were told they had high blood sugar; 33.7 percent were told they had pre-diabetes itself; 15.5 percent were told they had impaired glucose tolerance; and 15. 2 percent were told they had impaired fasting glucose. In addition, 43.3 percent were told they had two or more of the five conditions that indicate pre-diabetes. But, it’s not too late to turn those numbers around, experts said. “An important opportunity exists to reduce the preventable burden of diabetes and its complications by increasing awareness of pre-diabetes among those who have the condition, and encouraging the adoption of healthier lifestyles and risk reduction activities among all U.S. adults,” the researchers wrote in a summary of their study. The study was published in this week’s issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a CDC journal. For more on how to curb diabetes, see “Standing Up To Diabetes.” at BET.com.
Salmonella outbreak claims more victims. Salmonella poisoning tied to contaminated dog food sickens eight more people, U.S. health officials said Thursday. The outbreak, which started in 2006, marks the first time that dry dog food has been confirmed as a source of the bacterial infection in people. As of Oct. 31, 79 cases of salmonella Schwarzengrund had been reported in 21 states. Most of the cases involved children 2 years old and younger, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We have been following an outbreak of illness due to a specific strain of salmonella. And in 2007, we linked those human illnesses with contaminated pet food produced at one Pennsylvania pet food plant,” said report co-author Dr. Casey Barton Behravesh, a CDC epidemiologist. “In 2008, we have identified eight additional cases.” The dog food has been traced to a Mars Petcare U.S. plant in Everson, Pa., reports HealthDay.com. On Sept. 12, the company announced a recall of approximately 23,109 tons of dry dog and cat food sold under 105 brand names. The plant is now closed, the CDC said in the Nov. 7 issue of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Despite the recall and the plant closing, Barton Behravesh said the threat of more infections exists. “The issue is that since dry pet food has a one-year shelf life, it is possible that contaminated products from even our 2007 recall could still be in the homes of ill persons and could lead to additional illness,” she said. The cases may be linked to dog food sold after the plant was closed for cleaning and reopened. The plant has since shut down. Young children are particularly vulnerable, because they’re more likely to get sick from small doses of salmonella, Barton Behravesh said. The primary cause of infection was feeding a pet in the kitchen, she said. People can take a few simple steps to protect themselves from salmonella infection from pet food, Imperato said. “These include regular washing of pet feeding bowls to prevent bacterial growth; the thorough washing of hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds after handling dry pet foods, including pet treats; and scrupulously avoiding contact between dry pet foods and foods consumed by humans and food preparation surfaces and utensils,” said Dr. Pascal James Imperato, dean and Distinguished Service Professor of the Graduate Program in Public Health at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.