CDC: Diabetes cases still rising

by Jeff Gelski
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ATLANTA   — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on July 18 released a report showing 30.3 million Americans, or 9.4 percent of the US population, had diabetes in 2015. Rates of diagnosis were higher for American Indians/Alaskan natives (15.1 percent), non-Hispanic blacks (12.7 percent) and Hispanics (12.1 percent) than they were for Asians (8 percent) and non-Hispanic whites (7.4 percent).

Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States in 2015. An estimated 1.5 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed among people age 18 and older in 2015. The rate of new diabetes diagnosis remained steady, according to the report, which may be found here.

“Consistent with previous trends, our research shows that diabetes cases are still increasing although not as quickly as in previous years,” said Ann Albright, MD, director of the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation. “Diabetes is a contributing factor to so many other serious health conditions. By addressing diabetes, we limit other health problems such as heart disease, stroke, nerve and kidney diseases, and vision loss.”

 
Diabetes often may be managed through physical activity, diet and the appropriate use of insulin and other medications to control blood sugar levels, according to the CDC Risk factor data for 2011-14 for US adults age 18 and older linked diabetes to smoking, being overweight or obese, physical inactivity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Of the adults with diabetes, 87.5 percent were overweight or obese, which is defined as having a body mass index of 25 or higher.

The report included county-level data that showed some areas of the country, like the Southeast, bear a heavier diabetes burden than others. The report said in 2015 another 84.1 million Americans had prediabetes, a condition that, if not treated, often leads to type 2 diabetes within five years.

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