Diabetes Projected to Double or Triple by 2050
As many as one in three U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue, according to a new analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Presently, about 24 million Americans (one in 10) have diabetes, and one-quarter of them do not know they have it.
The prevalence is expected to rise sharply over the next 40 years due to an aging population more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, increases in minority groups that are at high risk for type 2 diabetes, and people with diabetes living longer, according to CDC projections published in the Population Health Metrics journal.
“These are alarming numbers that show how critical it is to change the course of type 2 diabetes,” said Ann Albright, PhD, RD, director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation (DDT).
Proper diet and physical activity can reduce the risk of diabetes and help to control the condition in people with diabetes. Effective prevention programs directed at groups at high risk of type 2 diabetes can considerably reduce future increases in diabetes prevalence, but will not eliminate them, the report says.
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include older age, obesity, family history, having diabetes while pregnant, a sedentary lifestyle and race/ethnicity. Groups at higher risk for the disease are African-Americans, Hispanics, American Indians/Alaska Natives, and some Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in 2007, and is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults under age 75, kidney failure, and non-accident/injury leg and foot amputations among adults. People with diagnosed diabetes have medical costs that are more than twice that of those without the disease. The total costs of diabetes are an estimated $174 billion annually, including $116 billion in direct medical costs.
Source: Reprinted in part from the CDC Oct. 22 press release
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