Columbia Doctors See New Trend in Diabetes Patients

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COLUMBIA - Specialists in mid-Missouri have seen decreased diabetes-related health problems in patients over the last two decades but an increase in the amount of patients they are diagnosing.

MU Endocrinologist Camila Manrique said the reason physicians are diagnosing more people is because they are able to diagnose earlier than before and patients are coming in with symptoms more often than they used to. 

A recent study released by the CDC said the rate of heart attacks and death from high blood pressure has declined by more than 60 percent in the last two decades. The rate of strokes and lower-limb amputations declined by about 50 percent and the rate of end-stage kidney failure fell by about 28 percent.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the biggest contributor to the positive change is patients' lifestyle choices like less smoking and reduced consumption of cholesterol and trans fats. 

Despite the positive findings, Manrique said area physicians see more cases of diabetes because of the high smoking rate in Missouri. She said, "We still have a high smoking rate in mid-Missouri and in Missouri in general and that is a clear risk factor for worsening cases of diabetes."

Manrique said the best way to prevent diabetes and diabetes-related problems is to keep yourself healthy, stay informed, and communicate with your physician. She also said organizations like The American Diabetes Association and The American Heart Association offer great resources for patients.