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Now, 2 Out of Every 5 Americans Expected to Develop Type 2 Diabetes During Their Lifetime

A new CDC study shows that close to half (40%) of the adult population of the USA are now expected to develop diabetes during their lifetime. The major study, Trends in lifetime risk and years of life lost due to diabetes in the USA, 1985–2011: a modelling study, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, notes that the numbers look even worse for some ethnic minority groups:

  • One in two (more than 50%) of Hispanic men and women and non-Hispanic black women are predicted to develop the disease
  • Over the 26 years of study, the lifetime risk of developing type 2 diabetes for the average American 20-year-old rose from 20% for men and 27% for women in 1985–1989, to 40% for men and 39% for women in 2000–2011. The largest increases were in Hispanic men and women, and non-Hispanic black women, for whom lifetime risk now exceeds 50%.
  • The lifetime risk of developing diabetes is the same for men and women The study’s authors noted that while more people are being diagnosed with diabetes, they are also living longer with the disease. This puts a strain on our healthcare system and will continue to increase the need for health services, as well as increase the costs to manage the disease. Care is improving, but the rate of incidence is growing because of more obesity, bigger food portion sizes, greater total dietary intake, and individuals using less energy.

The study’s authors noted that while more people are being diagnosed with diabetes, they are also living longer with the disease. This puts a strain on our healthcare system and will continue to increase the need for health services, as well as increase the costs to manage the disease. Care is improving, but the rate of incidence is growing because of more obesity, bigger food portion sizes, greater total dietary intake, and individuals using less energy. Effective interventions are needed to stop the growth of this epidemic. In the study, a team of U.S. researchers combined data from nationally representative U.S. population interviews and death certificates for over 1 million adults to estimate trends in the lifetime risk of diabetes and years of life lost to diabetes between 1985 and 2011. Researchers used data from the National Health Interview Survey for years 1985-2011, a continuous, yearly cross-sectional, nationally representative health survey of the US non-institutionalized population undertaken by the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes and its complications accounted for $245 billion in direct and indirect medical costs in 2012.

Over 29 million Americans have diabetes and an additional 86 million have prediabetes and are at risk of developing the disease.

 

 
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