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MDH: Obesity, aging population causes diabetes rate to double

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State health officials say 290,000 Minnesotans were diagnosed with diabetes in 2011--a rate that has doubled since 1995.

The Minnesota Department of Health attributes the increase to obesity and an aging population, KSTP reports. What's also troubling is approximately 80,000 people have the disease, but don't know it.

Tuesday, March 26, is Alert Day, the American Diabetes Association "wake-up call" event that asks the public to take the one-minute long Diabetes Risk Test. However, phone and online screenings are available year-round.

See their website for a list of symptoms of diabetes.

The organization says diagnoses can come seven to 10 years after the onset of disease, causing serious complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death. That's why early diagnosis is critical.

It's estimated more than a million Minnesotans have prediabetes and aren't aware.

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