Diabetes rate to double, costs to triple

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The number of Americans with diabetes will nearly double over the next 25 years, rising from 23.7 million in 2009 to 44.1 million in 2034, according to a study by the University of Chicago.

In the same period, medical costs associated with treating the disease will triple from 113 billion dollars to 336 billion dollars, even without a rise in the incidence of obesity, according to the study published in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

“If we don’t change our diet and exercise habits or find new, more effective and less expensive ways to prevent and treat diabetes, we will find ourselves in a lot of trouble as a population,” said lead author Elbert Huang.

The study said its projections, despite being significantly higher than other recent estimates, may be too conservative because they assume the rate of diabetes and obesity, a risk factor for the disease, will remain stable.

In 1991, scientists projected that the number of Americans with diabetes would reach 11.6 million people in 2030, but some 20 years before that date the figure is already double that.

The study’s authors acknowledge that obesity rates have risen steadily in past years, but predict that they will level out over the next decade and then decline slightly from the current 30 percent level to around 27 percent in 2033.

The US health program Medicare, which provides health care for older Americans, spends some 45 billion dollars a year on diabetes treatment for 8.2 million people.

By 2034, the number of people with diabetes covered by the program is expected to rise to 14.6 million, according to the study, with associated costs rising to 171 billion dollars a year.

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Passionate in her concern for people, Lori Drummond has dedicated herself to helping others gain better health through better nutrition. That's why Good Health Consulting Inc. exists. The lifelong wellness disciple knows there are no magic wands to a healthy life, but that amazing results can follow careful, committed choices. A registered, clinical dietitian and learning-hungry entreprenuer, Lori wants to share her compassionate competency with you so that you might have a more active, extended life. So much life awaits you. Start making good choices today that will benefit you and your loved ones for years. Call Lori at 786-390-3540 or write to her at LDrummond_RD@earthlink.net

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