June 26, 2008

Diabetes Incidence Just Keeps Rising

Revised numbers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were just published in the National Diabetes Fact Sheet and they are, once again, disheartening and staggering but not surprising:

- Nearly 24 million people (vs. 21 million, 2005) have diabetes (however, 5.7 million people have diabetes but have not yet been diagnosed) (See How is diabetes diagnosed?)

- Nearly 8% of the U.S. population has diabetes (~ 5-10% type 1, remainder type 2)

- More than 12 million (23%) of people 60 years of age and older have diabetes

- Nearly 57 million people (in addition) have prediabetes (See What is meant by pre-diabetes?)

Many of the trends in diabetes (prediabetes and type 2 that is) follow the trends of overweight and obesity. These grim statistics are never more clear than following the maps of the U.S. from CDC showing the increasing incidences of overweight from 1985 - 2006 and on another set of maps, diabetes (2004 and 2005 only available).

The time is now for all of us to collectively and individually take action. The surefire way to decrease your incidence of pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes is to get to and stay at a healthy weight, eat healthfully and be physically active. Hmmm – sounds like the solution to many a health problem!