About 11 million Americans have diabetes, and about 5 million of them have not been diagnosed yet.
The best ways to prevent developing diabetes are to get regular (preferably aerobic) exercise and to keep your weight down. If you do develop diabetes these are often the best treatment for it, too !
Diabetes shows up not only as a cause of death in its own right but as a risk factor in increasing Heart Attack, Stroke, and Kidney failure. The effect of diabetes on your risk of these illnesses is magnified if you have coexisting hypertension, smoking or high cholesterol.
You can get more information from the American Diabetes Association