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DENVER — Millions of people are living with diabetes and new studies show while the number of cases continues to rise, patients are experiencing fewer complications.

The rate of heart attack fell 68 percent between 1990 and 2010.

Dr. Amy Huebschmann of the University of Colorado School of Medicine’s Center for Women’s Health Research says the credit goes to new drugs that treat other conditions.

She explains, “Getting blood pressure under control, getting cholesterol levels under control, that’s probably what’s behind the improvements we’ve seen.”

Still,  overall people with diabetes are more prone to heart attacks than those who don’t have the disease.

The number of diabetes cases has jumped 300 percent over the past two decades. Ninety percent of those cases are type 2 diabetes.

The U.S. population has only grown about 30 percent over that same time period.

Doctors put the blame on the nation’s weight problem.  Dr. Huebschmann says, “The factors that drive obesity are generally eating more food than we need and consuming extra calories as well as being sedentary.”

Medical experts say the key to keeping your family healthy is cutting portion sizes, getting regular exercise and regular check-ups to monitor any rises in blood sugar.  It’s the best way to eliminate the factors that can lead to living with diabetes for life.

Fox 31 Denver is helping to support the fight against juvenile diabetes.  You can support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Annual Dream Gala on Saturday May 17th.

The event  will be hosted by Good Day Colorado’s Brooke Wagner.  Doors open at 6 p.m. at the Seawell Grand Ballroom at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.  You may purchase tickets to support the JDRF here.

For more information on how to protect yourself against diabetes, visit