Diabetic Facts

I’ve plucked a few facts here and there to share with you about diabetes.

  1. “Fiorello LaGuardia, former New York mayor and the person for whom the airport’ is named was diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  2. “Winnie Mandela, South African anti-apartheid leader is diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  3. A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the prevalence of diabetes rose 5% annually since 1990 and ‘and appears to be linked to increasing obesity’. (ADA In Diabetes Today)
  4. “118,000 (15.1%) American Indians and Alaska Natives aged 20 years or older have diabetes (both diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes). Taking into account population age differences, American Indians and Alaska Natives are 2.2 times as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites.” (ADA)
  5. “Among adults with diagnosed diabetes, 16% take insulin only, 12% take both insulin and oral medication, 57% take oral medication only, and 15% do not take either insulin or oral medications.” (ADA The Dangerous Toll of Diabetes)
  6. “The Godfather of Soul, James Brown, had diabetes.” (dLife)
  7. “In 1924, a 14 year old boy Leonard Thompson was the first human with diabetes to receive insulin” (DoctorNDTV)
  8. “The honeymoon period is a time when people with type 1 diabetes, shortly after their diagnosis, experience what seems to be a remission of the disease or a restoration of the production of insulin.” (About.com Guide to Diabetes)
  9. “Albert Ellis, psychologist, rational emotive therapy was diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  10. “A diabetes epidemic is underway. An estimated 30 million people worldwide had diabetes in 1985. A decade later, the global burden of diabetes was estimated to be 135 million. The latest WHO estimate ะ for the number of people with diabetes, worldwide, in 2000 ะ is 171 million. This is likely to increase to at least 366 million by 2030.” (World Health Organization)
  11. “The total cost of diabetes in the United States, 2002 was $132 billion including $92 billion of Direct medical costs and $40 billion Indirect costs: (disability, work loss, premature mortality)” (NNational Diabetes Fact Sheet)
  12. “Arthur Ashe, tennis legend was diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  13. “2 million. 8.2% of all Hispanic/Latino Americans aged 20 years or older have diabetes. On average, Hispanic/Latino Americans are 1.5 times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites of similar age.” (National Diabetes Fact Sheet)
  14. “Dale Evans, actress, singer and wife of Roy Rogers was diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  15. Former professional ballet dancer Zippora Karz was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 21 (The Diabetic Athlete)
  16. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in American adults. Diabetic retinopathy accounts for 12% of all new cases of blindness in the US. ()
  17. “Bobby Clark, legend of the Philadelphia Flyers, was the first professional hockey player with diabetes” (The Diabetic Athlete)
  18. “Menachem Begin, Israeli prime minister was diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  19. “Mario Puzo, author of “”The Godfather”” was diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  20. Sharon Stone’s diabetes did not stop her wowing us in Basic Instinct (Keeping Well With Diabetes Newsletter)
  21. “H.G. Wells, writer, “”The Invisible Man”” and “”War of the Worlds”” was diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  22. “Mary Tyler Moore, actress and star of “”The Mary Tyler Moore Show”” and other movies is diabetic. She is a chairperson of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation” (Health Diary)
  23. LPGA golfer Michelle McGann learned of her diabetes at age 13. (The Diabetic Athlete)
  24. “Recent studies in China, Canada, USA and several European countries have shown that feasible lifestyle interventions can prevent the onset of diabetes in people at high risk.” (World Health Organization)
  25. Almost 1 in 17 people worldwide are diabetic. More than 1800 cases of diabetes are diagnosed everyday. (DoctorNDTV)
  26. “Nell Carter, of the television show “”Gimme a Break”” is diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  27. Dr. George Minot was the first person with diabetes to receive Nobel Prize for Medicine (dLife)
  28. “B.B. King, rhythm and blues star is diabetic and stars in all those LifeScan bloodtesting commercials” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  29. India has the largest number of diabetics in the world; a total of 10 million. (DoctorNDTV)
  30. “Johnny Cash, legendary country singer, known as “”the man in black”” was diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  31. Around 3.2 million deaths every year are attributable to complications of diabetes; six deaths every minute. (World Health Organization)
  32. “Jackie Robinson, baseball star who broke the color barrier in the Major Leagues was diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  33. “Thomas Edison, the genius inventor was diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  34. “Under those red suspenders, talk show host Larry King is diabetic” (dLife)
  35. “Walt Kelly, animator and Disney founder was diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  36. “Diabetic retinopathy causes from 12,000 to 24,000 new cases of blindness each year” (National Diabetes Fact Sheet)
  37. “Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death from disease, shortens the average life span by up to 15 years, and is the main cause of new blindness, kidney failure, and amputations in the United States. Interviews with 2 practitioners and 8 individuals with diabetes illustrate how individuals embody their illness. Interviewed persons with diabetes tended to be most closely associated with the disciplined body type and pursued high levels of bodily control, in contrast to an idealized type, the communicative body, which can be considered an ethical ideal.” (Understanding the Diabetic Body-Self)
  38. “Yuri Andropov, former premier of Soviet Union was diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  39. “The top 10 countries, in numbers of sufferers of diabetes, are India, China, USA, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, Brazil Italy and Bangladesh.” (World Health Organization)
  40. Diabetes in the United States has increased by 14 percent in just two years and now affects 7 percent of the population. (In Diabetes Today)
  41. “About 210,000 people under 20 years of age have diabetes. This represents 0.26% of all people in this age group.” (National Diabetes Fact Sheet)
  42. “Tommy Lee, of heavy metal band Motley Crue is diabetic…. rock on!” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  43. At least 171 million people worldwide have diabetes; this figure is likely to be more than double by 2030. (World Health Organization)
  44. “Ron Santo, third basemen for the Chicago Cubs was diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  45. Former NBA Basketball player Chris Dudley is diabetic (The Diabetic Athlete)
  46. “Diabetes was the sixth leading cause of death listed on U.S. death certificates in 2000. This is based on the 69,301 death certificates in which diabetes was listed as the underlying cause of death. Altogether, diabetes contributed to 213,062 deaths.” (National Diabetes Fact Sheet)
  47. “As a sophmore in high school, professional football player Tony George was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes” (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center)
  48. “Catfish Hunter, pitcher for the Oakland A’s and the New York Yankees was diabetic. I saw him pitch in the 1973 American League Championships, me wiht only 3 years of being diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  49. “Diabetes is the fifth-deadliest disease in the United States. Since 1987 the death rate due to diabetes has increased by 45 percent, while the death rates due to heart disease, stroke, and cancer have declined.” (ADA The Dangerous Toll of Diabetes)
  50. “Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas and 2008 Presidental candidate, has Type-2 diabetes” (dLife)
  51. “Jackie Gleason, funny star of “”The Honeymooners”” and many other movies/shows was diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  52. “Sugar Ray Robinson, boxer was diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  53. About 65% of deaths among people with diabetes are due to heart disease and stroke. (National Diabetes Fact Sheet)
  54. “Overall, direct health care costs of diabetes range from 2.5% to 15% of annual health care budgets, depending on local diabetes prevalence and the sophistication of the treatment available.” (World Health Organization)
  55. “In 250 AD Rome, diabetes was diagnosed by tasting the urine for sweetness.” (Accu-Check Diabetes Quiz)
  56. Two (2) million adolescents (or 1 in 6 overweight adolescents) aged 12-19 have pre-diabetes. (ADA)
  57. “In the U.S. population of adults born between 1931 and 1941, diabetes is associated with a profound negative impact on economic productivity. By 1992, an estimated 60 billion US dollars in lost productivity was associated with diabetes; additional annual losses averaged 7.3 billion US dollars over the next eight years, totaling about 120 billion US dollars by the year 2000” (The impact of diabetes on workforce participation)
  58. One out of every 10 health care dollars is spent on diabetes and its complications. (ADA The Dangerous Toll of Diabetes)
  59. “Anne Rice, “”Interview With a Vampire”” author is diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  60. Musician Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd was diabetic (dLife)
  61. “Olympic Gold Medla swimmer Gary Hall, Jr was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1999” (“Gary Hall, Jr Bio”)
  62. “There are 23.6 million people in the United States, or 8.0% of the population, who have diabetes.” (ADA)
  63. “David Crosby, member of The Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young is diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  64. “Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s fast food restaurants was diabetic at the time he bought his first restaurant” (Woopidoo! Biographies)
  65. New findings suggest that poorly controlled diabetes may lead to Alzheimer’s disease. (Medicine.net)
  66. “Jerry Mathers, actor of “”Leave It To Beaver”” fame is/was diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  67. “Paul Cezanne died of pneumonia and complication from diabetes, on October 22, 1906” (dLife)
  68. “Non-Hispanic white children have the highest rates of diabetes in the United States, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday, and the disease appears to be more common than expected.” (Reuters)
  69. “Miles Davis, legendary jazz great was diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)
  70. “Billie Jean King, tennis player is diabetic” (Diabetes Health Magazine)

10 thoughts on “Diabetic Facts

  1. I am really not an authority, just someone who has lived with it.

    Besides the ADA web site, there are a fair number of online support resources… see what you can find:


  2. Hey! You forgot to mention Meat Loaf!!!

    Let me tell you about my favorite rocker singer, Marvin Lee Aday,
    AKA “Meat Loaf” who weighs over 300 pounds and is diabetic.

    I can identify with Meat Loaf because I’m also diabetic, and I weigh
    about 305 pounds, and my height is only 5 ft. 6 in.

    He was born September 27, 1951 so he’s only three days older than I
    am since I was born September 30, 1951

    Marvin Lee Aday was a singer and occasional actor who, for reasons
    never definitively answered, recorded under the name Meat Loaf. In
    all likelihood a childhood nickname, the tag stuck, and many puns
    followed as the performer — who tipped the scales at well over 300
    pounds — became one of the biggest chart acts of the 1970s before
    enjoying a commercial renaissance two decades later.

    Meat Loaf is one of my favorite rock singers. I remember when he was
    on the stage singing Like A Bat Out Of Hell. He came out on the stage
    looking like a big fat Opera singer and dancing around moving his big
    body and beads of perspiration broke out on his plump round face. He
    looked sooooooooo cool man!!! He’s one heavy dude!

    While doing some research, I found out that not only is he diabetic
    but he also suffers from a rare heart condition known as Wolff-
    Parkinson-White syndrome.

    It is not cause by his obesity but rather Wolff-Parkinson-White
    syndrome (WPW) is a syndrome of pre-excitation of the ventricles due
    to an accessory pathway known as the bundle of Kent. This accessory
    pathway is an abnormal electrical communication from the atria to the

    The incidence of WPW syndrome is between 0.1% and 3% percent of the
    general population. While the vast majority of individuals with WPW
    syndrome remain asymptomatic throughout their entire lives, there is
    a risk of sudden death associate with WPW syndrome.

    Sudden death due to WPW syndrome is rare (incidence of 0.6% percent
    and is due to the effect of the accessory pathway on tachyarrhythmias
    in these individuals.

    Meat Loaf, known for his size (at times over 300 pounds) and manic
    stage presence has suffered from a number of health problems and
    injuries. Reportedly he has had at least seventeen concussions. His
    most recent problem was during a November 17, 2003, performance at
    London’s Wembley Arena. He collapsed of what was later diagnosed as
    Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. The following week he underwent a
    surgical procedure intended to correct the problem.

    Back in 1978 he fell off the stage and broke his leg during a concert
    at Toronto. He finished the tour in a wheelchair.

    He also sufferes from depression and anxiety. He had a very tuff
    childhood and growing up as a fat kid, he was often tormented by his
    peers. As a child he was clumsy and uncoordinated. His father called
    him Meat Loaf because he was so fat.

    Also, his father was an alcoholic and was very abusive toward Meat
    Loaf and his mother. When he was 15 years old, his mother died of
    breast cancer, and sometime after his mother’s death, one evening his
    father flew into a drunken rage and came after Meat Loaf with a
    butcher knife.

    Yes, indeed! I can identify with Meat Loaf. At 5 ft. 6 in. I weigh
    about 305 pounds myself. I too had an abusive stepfather who would
    beat up on my mother and I whenever he was drunk.

    When I was only 15 years old, my weight went up to over 200 pounds,
    and I then outweighed my old man by more than 20 pouunds although I
    was three inches shorter.

    I believe that abuse during childhood can bring on obesity, and
    continued emotional stress can contribute to diabetes. Getting fat is
    nature’s way of protecting one from physical injury. I find that being
    fat feels very comfortable because it feels so soft and warm like a
    big hug!

    Like Meat Loaf, I too am diabetic and suffer from anxiety and
    depression so I know where he’s coming from. I’m also very clumsy and
    uncoordinated and I fall very easily, but so far I managed to avoid
    serious injuries.

    I’m also artistic and creative. I like to do oil paintings, and I’m
    building an N Gauge model railroad on a 5 x 8 foot layout which is
    wired to run four trains. I also enjoy singing. I use to sing at the
    Karaoki and I would do songs by Niel Diamond, Cat Stevens, Simon And
    Garfunkle, Pink Floyde, and of course Meat Loaf, my favorite.

    My heart really goes out to Meat Loaf. While he looks like a big
    strong person, he is very fragile both physically and emotionally.

    But then many of us obese persons like me are rather fragile in so
    many ways. That is why so many obese people tend to be rather docile,
    nonaggressive and gentle creatures. We are also more sensitive to
    pain both physical and emotional.

    That is probably why we feel hunger more intensely and why it takes
    more food to ease the pain of the hunger we feel.

    Also junk foods are more harmful to us fat people. So, we need to get
    back to natural foods and even if we can’t lose weight we’re still
    better off.

    Oh! By the way, Meat Loaf is also a vegetarian. Despite his stage
    name, Marvin doesn’t like to eat meatloaf. ๐Ÿ™‚

    But eating a vegetarian does not necessarily guarantee that one won’t
    become obese. In fact a diabetic can still gain weight on a
    vegetarian diet because of the carbohydrates.

    I should know from personnel experience, because I once tried a
    vegetarian diet, and I still gained weight.


    Obese people more sensitive to pain

    Obese people may be more sensitive to pain than people who aren’t
    obese, a new study suggests.

    All of the older adults who completed the study had osteoarthritis of
    the knee, a disease that causes inflammation and extreme pain in the

    Participants were given a mild electrical stimulation on their left
    ankle to measure their pain reflex. The stimulus was given before and
    after the participants took part in a 45-minute coping skills
    training session that included a progressive muscle relaxation

    The obese patients showed a greater physical response to the
    electrical stimulation than did the non-obese people, both before and
    after the training session. This indicates they had a lower tolerance
    for the painful stimulation despite reporting, in questionnaires,
    that they felt no more pain than non-obese people.

    “The relaxation procedure helped both groups cope with pain,” said
    Charles Emery, the study’s lead author and a professor of psychology
    at Ohio State University. “Additionally, our tests showed both groups
    had higher physical pain thresholds after the relaxation session. But
    the obese participants still had a lower threshold for tolerating the

    Emery and his colleagues presented their findings on March 4 in
    Denver at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society.

    The researchers wanted to see if coping skills training, including
    progressive relaxation techniques would help people with
    osteoarthritis to better cope with the pain that the disease can
    cause. Also called degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis affects
    more than 20 million people in the United States.

    But they were particularly interested in seeing how the obese group
    responded to pain; according to Emery, a small number of studies have
    looked at pain sensitivity in obese people, but many of these studies
    report conflicting results.

    “Some studies say that obese people are more tolerant of pain, while
    other studies say they are less tolerant,” Emery said.

    About a third of the study’s 62 participants were obese. Researchers
    determined who was obese based on participants’ body mass index (BMI)
    scores, which relates height to weight. Obese patients in this study
    had a BMI greater than 30 but less than 35. (Scores higher than 35
    are considered morbidly obese.)

    The participants underwent two rounds of electrical stimulation รขโ‚ฌโ€œ
    once before, and once after a 45-minute training session where they
    learned different ways of coping with pain, including instruction in
    progressive muscle relaxation therapy.

    The electrical stimulation came from an iPod-sized device that
    delivered a slight electrical shock to a patient’s sural nerve, a
    nerve that extends along the ankle and into the calf. This kind of
    electrical stimulation causes sensations of tingling and mild pain in
    the lower leg.

    The researchers determined the body’s response to sural nerve
    stimulation by measuring the reflex of the lower leg muscles that
    surround the sural nerve. When the brain senses pain, it sends a
    message to the body to contract and move the muscles in order to get
    away from the source of the pain.

    “This kind of evaluation is in some ways a more objective way of
    measuring the body’s response to pain, as opposed to simply asking
    someone if they feel pain,” Emery said.

    But the researchers did ask participants how much pain they felt.
    Participants completed questionnaires about anxiety and pain
    perception after each round of electrical stimulations. All
    participants, obese or not, reported that they felt less pain after
    the relaxation session than they did before.

    Yet results of the sural nerve stimulus test showed that the obese
    participants did not tolerate the painful stimulus as well as the non-
    obese individuals.

    “Our findings show the importance of looking at objective as well as
    subjective measurements of how the body responds to pain stimuli,”
    Emery said.

    Emery conducted the study with colleagues from Ohio State, Ohio and
    Duke universities.

    From Ohio State University


    Poor Meat Loaf. His life has been so full of pain, yet despite all
    that he is a very jolly fat person with a great sense of humor

    Some of the songs he sings are a reflection of his own life.

    Here is the lyrics to one of his many songs.


    Objects In The Rear View Mirror My Appear Closer Than They Are.

    The skys were pure and the fields were green,
    and the sun was brighter than it’s ever been
    When I grew up with my best friend, Kenny,
    we were close as any brothers that you ever knew

    It was always summer and the future called
    We were ready for adventures and we wanted them all,
    and there was so much left to dream,
    and so much time to make it real

    But I can still recall the sting of all the tears when he was gone
    They say he crashed and burned, I swear I’ll never learn,
    why any boy should die so young

    We were racing; we were soldiers of fortune
    We got in trouble but we sure got around
    There are times I think I see him peeling out of the dark
    I think he’s right behind me now, and he’s gaining ground

    But it was long ago, and it was far away
    Oh God, it seems so very far,
    and if life is just a highway, then the soul is just a car

    And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
    And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
    And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
    And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
    They are

    And when the sun descended and the night arose
    I heard my father cursing everyone he knows
    He was dangerous and drunk and defeated,
    and corroded by failure and envy and hate

    There were endless winters and the dreams would freeze
    No where to hide and no leaves on the trees,
    and my father’s eyes were blank as he hit me again and again and again

    I know I still believe he’d never let me leave, I had to run away
    So many threats and fears, so many wasted years,
    before my life became my own

    And though the nightmares should be over,
    some of the terrors are still intact
    I’ll hear that ugly, coarse, and violent voice,
    and then he grabs me from behind, and then he pulls me back

    But it was long ago, and it was far away
    Oh God, it seems so very far,
    and if life is just a highway, then the soul is just a car

    And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
    And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
    And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
    And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
    They are

    [Instrumental solo]

    There was a beauty living on the edge of town
    She always put the top up and the hammer down,
    and she taught me everything I’ll ever know,
    about the mystery and the muscle of love

    The stars would glimmer and the moon would glow
    I’m in the back seat with my Julie like Romeo
    And the signs along the highway all said
    Caution! Kids at play!

    Those were the rights of spring and we did everything;
    There was salvation every night
    We got dreams reborn and our upholstery torn,
    but everything we tried was right

    She used her body just like a bandage
    She use my body just like a wound
    I’ll probably never know where she disappeared,
    but I can see rising up out of the back seat now,
    just like an angel rising out of a tomb

    But it was long ago, and it was far away
    Oh God, it seems so very far,
    and if life is just a highway, then the soul is just a car

    And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
    And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
    And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
    And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
    And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
    And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
    And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
    And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are
    And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are

    She used her body just like a bandage
    She used my body just like a wound
    I’ll probably never know where she disappeared,
    but I can see her rising up out of the back seat now…


    Oh yes indeed!

    If life is like a highway, then the soul is just a car!

    My soul is a big Mack Truck!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. will gerald st. germaine please shut up and stop hogging the whole page? just because you have to hog the bus seats, doesnt mean you should hog a website! mwah!

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  5. Your diabetes facts are bull**it, as most of them make no distinction between type I and type II diabetes. The difference is huge, and they are quite different diseases.

  6. So tell me Tom, what is your point? They are not MY facts, each one has an attribution to a source. And I fail see what the ****** difference it makes; these are presented merely as a means of throwing some light on the impact of any kind diabetes.

    Write back if you have something constructive to say, otherwise go take a hike or go for a run.

  7. Well first of all, having a source doesn’t really mean anything. I can create a web page that says the moon is made out of cheese, and you can make a reference to it, but that doesn’t make it true you know ๐Ÿ™‚ One has to have a critical mind when dealing with these things.

    As for the other issue, the difference is that people have A LOT of ignorance when it comes to diabetes, and it doesn’t help at all when diabetes I and II are simply lumped together like that… Type I is an autoimmune disease that can impact a completely healthy, thin person who takes care of him/herself. Type II is more of a metabolic disease that is the result of a lack of exercise, obesity, and an unhealthy diet. Many doctors agree that the naming is quite misleading, as the two versions of diabetes are very different beasts.

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