The CDC: Number of Americans With Diabetes Projected to Soar

health care diabetesAs many as one-third of American adults could develop diabetes in the next 40 years, according to a new analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Diabetes was the seventh-leading cause of death in 2007, and it's the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults under age 75, according to the CDC report. The disease is also among the most expensive chronic illnesses to treat and is considered one of the culprits in rising health care costs.

Treating patients with diabetes currently costs $174 billion a year, according to the report, published in the journal Population Health Metrics. In addition, pre- or undiagnosed diabetes (when a person's blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes) accounts for $25 billion, according to the American Diabetes Association.

The disease is expected to take an even greater financial toll in the coming years if current trends continue.

The number of Americans with diabetes has been steadily rising: From 1997 to 2003, the incidence of diagnosed diabetes increased 41%. One in 10 U.S. adults currently suffers from diabetes, but one-quarter of those people are not aware that they have the disease, the CDC reports.

The researchers looked at various models to calculate the incidence of diabetes in the next four decades. The conservative projection is that the total number of diagnosed and undiagnosed cases will increase to 21% of the adult population by 2050. However, at current rates, the number of Americans with diabetes will jump to 33%, or one-third of all American adults.

"These projected increases are largely attributable to the aging of the U.S. population, increasing numbers of members of higher-risk minority groups in the population, and people with diabetes living longer," the report states. Obesity has also been linked to an increased risk of developing diabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association, people at risk for type 2 diabetes include those with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and/or impaired fasting glucose (IFG); those over age 45; those with a family history of diabetes; those who are overweight; those who do not exercise regularly; those with low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides, with high blood pressure; and members of certain racial and ethnic groups. In addition, women who had gestational diabetes, or who have had a baby weighing nine pounds or more at birth, also face an increased risk.

Needed: Effective Prevention Strategies

The CDC researchers note that lifestyle interventions can reduce the number of Americans who develop type 2 diabetes. For example, a healthy diet, physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.

"Effective strategies will need to be undertaken to moderate the impact of these factors on national diabetes burden," the authors conclude. "Our analysis suggests that widespread implementation of reasonably effective preventive interventions focused on high-risk subgroups of the population can considerably reduce, but not eliminate, future increases in diabetes prevalence."

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When you sit on your rear end all day collecting your welfare check eating mac and cheese every meal what do you expect?

November 01 2010 at 10:46 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Isn't this an issue of health care costs that receives the least attention . I am a type 2 diabetic and dealing with it is not easy . However it clear that seeing a doctor , exercising, drugs and a healthy diet have saved me from more serious complications for 30 years . In other prevention in may cases is the ebst way to reduce costs .

November 01 2010 at 10:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It is true that obesity and weight gain are associated with type 2 diabetes, but there are many 500 pounders without type 2 diabetes and many 150 pounders with type 2 diabetes. In gestational diabetes, a weight gain of 20 pounds can trigger poor sugar control in certain women that will correct itself after delivery and its associated weight loss. Obese people, or even normal weight people ("skinny on the outside.. fat on the inside") with high organ-related fat stores may have type 2 diabetes. It is also true that an individual that is a hundred pounds overweight only may need to lose 10 pounds of that overweight (fat) load to see their type 2 diabetes come under relatively "healthy" control. Their weight bearing joints (low back, hips, knees, and ankles) may still hurt under the heavy load of obesity and they may not want to exercise because of that hurt, but their diabetes may get better with relatively small weight losses. Type 2 diabetes may also be curable with surgical gastric banding and the more radical gastric bypass procedures. Rapid early weight loss after gastric bypass even when the patient remains morbidly obese may be associated with complete normalization of their diabetes (and hypertension) and they can be medication free within a few months after surgery. The United States should adopt lower weight guidelines (from BMI 40-50 down to a BMI of 35) for allowing insurance funding for earlier interventional gastric surgical ("preventative") procedures before the overall health and deconditioning of the morbidly obese individual precludes their safe, successful surgical and post op recoveries. A 50 year lifetime of expensive multiple diabetes and hypertension meds, and bilateral knee and hip joint replacements can be a very expensive alternative to the initial costs represented by gastric modifying surgical procedures.

November 01 2010 at 7:24 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Metformin is a very commonly used and very affordable medication for early type 2 diabetes and the pre-diabetic "metabolic syndrome". It has also been shown to cause a lowering of B12 levels. Neuropathy, or "nerve symptoms", in the extremities and particularly in the feet, is a feature of B12 deficiency as well as diabetes in poor control and diabetes of greater than 10 years duration. The millions of metformin users need to have their B12 levels monitored and corrected appropriately and should not assume their "nerve symptoms" are untreatble or a result only of their diabetes. Thank you.

November 01 2010 at 6:34 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to coop4ct's comment

Good comments. My Doc has me on a B12 shot every two weeks. It has helped my overall health and I really feel a lot better. Vitamin D is very important also. Antioxidants are a plus also. I take the Longevity vitamins available at a lot of vitamin stores. It isn't cheap but if it keeps me from gettin gdiabetes which runs in my family, it is worth it.

November 01 2010 at 2:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah because they are all a bunch of lard butt Goobers from red states.........

October 31 2010 at 11:05 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cross61roads's comment

Thanks that was intelligent and helpful....

November 01 2010 at 11:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And for those denouncing corn syrup, got some news for you. It's exactly the same to our bodies as the good old sugar. Eat less, exercise more and use those arm muscles for pushing away from the table. You'd be surprised at just how effective those simple instructions can be.

October 31 2010 at 10:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wonder if this is in any way related to increasing butt size (and everything else size) in people? If only McDonald's would stop forcing us to eat soooo much! Damn them.

October 31 2010 at 10:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

thank the gov. They subsidized the corn industry and penalized/taxed the cane sugar industry, making cane sugar too expensive to add to food compared to HFCS

October 31 2010 at 9:28 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

As long as "corn sugar" is in so many products and 'high fructose corn syrup' is the number one source of calories in the American food supply, diabetes will continue to blind, maim, and kill. A possible contributing factor is all the genetically modified corn, soy, sugar beets and 'other' in our food supply. Corn sugar or HFCS goes into body fat (particulary around the stomach), it doesn't satisfy but makes one hungry, and it greatly affects the liver. It's not as hard to avoid as monosodium glutamate (MSG) which has over four dozen "alternate" names, but you will be shocked at how many things it is in. I only drink (rarely) coca-cola from Mexico that comes in glass bottles and is the 'classic coke' I remember from childhood but I'm not even sure the sugar in it is cane sugar and not GMO beet sugar which is cheaper. As I have said many times, you cannot eat and drink what average Americans eat and drink, and NOT get the diseases that average Americans get.

October 31 2010 at 8:30 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

To understand cause of diabetes that are a problem involved with the energy conversion system of the cells an understanding of the life process and evolution is required. If anybody would care to know more please contact me John a. LeRoy 129 outlook Dr Glenroy Melbourne Vic Australia 3046. P.S. It involves Physics, Electrical Engineering, Chemistry and Materiels Engineering, as much as it does with biology, hence the stalemate.

October 31 2010 at 8:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply