The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently released their latest National Diabetes Statistics Report— and the news is not optimistic. The report indicates that one in 10 (30.3 million) US adults has diabetes, while more than one in three–or 84.1 million–has prediabetes. What is even more disconcerting is that 90% of those with prediabetes are not aware of their condition!  As the CDC report notes, most people with prediabetes do not know that they are at high risk to progress to Type 2 diabetes (T2D) within 5 years; however with appropriate nutrition and lifestyle changes, individuals with prediabetes can actually cut this risk by half.

The CDC’s report, which is released every two years, provides updated statistics on prevalence and incidence of diabetes, prediabetes and risk factors for these conditions. Additionally, it also reviews complications of these diseases and the associated economic costs. Information used to develop the report comes from statistics and data from a variety of sources including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the US Census Bureau, the Indian Health Service, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), to name a few, and recently published studies.

Relevant findings from the 2017 report included:

  • 3 million people in the US have diabetes (~10% of the population)
  • In 2015, 1.5 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in U.S. adults aged 18 years or older
  • Over 132,000 children and adolescents under age 18 were diagnosed with T2D
  • Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native adults were twice as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic white adults
  • Highest rates of established, and new, cases of diabetes were reported in the southern and Appalachian areas of the US
  • Diabetes was diagnosed in 12.6% of adults with less than a high school education vs 9.5% of those with a high school education and 7.2% of those with more than a high school education
  • Prediabetes was more common in men (36.6%) vs women (29.3%)

People with diabetes are at increased risk of serious health complications including vision loss, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, amputation of toes, feet or legs, and premature death.  An important aspect of managing diabetes is reducing other CVD risk factors. These include hypertension, dyslipidemia, hypercholesterolemia and tobacco use, which can be mitigated by healthcare providers instructing at-risk patients to increase activity and make better and more nutritious food choices.

The costs of treating diabetes in the United States is extremely high, at $245 billion, taking into account total medical costs as well as lost work and wages for those with diabetes. The cost of caring for individuals with diabetes is more than twice the cost of caring for those without diabetes, and the mortality risk is also 50% greater for those with compared with those without diabetes.

“Consistent with previous trends, our research shows that the number of diabetes cases are still increasing, although not as quickly as in previous years,” said Ann Albright, PhD, RD, director of the CDC’s division of diabetes translation, in a statement. “But because diabetes is a contributing factor to so many other serious health conditions, by addressing diabetes, we can help limit other health problems.”

Link to CDC 2017 report

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