Is there a link between Agent Orange exposure and diabetes?

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The evidence of a link between exposure to Agent Orange (or dioxin, the problematic contaminant in Agent Orange) and diabetes is modest. Most of the association between Agent Orange and diabetes comes from studies of people who lived near or worked at manufacturing plants that produced large quantities of Agent Orange dioxin. In those cases, there appears to be some relationship between Agent Orange exposure and increased insulin resistance, the precursor to type 2 diabetes.

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Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.
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