The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released the 2017 Diabetes Statistics Report with estimates for “prevalence and incidence of diabetes, prediabetes, risk factors for complications, acute and long-term complications, deaths, and costs.”
Where are we now? There are 30.3 million people with diabetes (9.4% of the US population) including 23.1 million people who are diagnosed and 7.2 million people (23.8%) undiagnosed. The numbers for prediabetes indicate that 84.1 million adults (33.9% of the adult U.S. population) have prediabetes, including 23.1 million adults aged 65 years or older (the age group with highest rate). The estimated percentage of individuals with type 1 diabetes remains at 5% among those with diabetes. The statistics are also provided by age, gender, ethnicity, and for each state/territory so you can search for these specifics.
The CDC has produced wonderful infographics, “A Snapshot of Diabetes in the U.S.” and “Prediabes: Could it be You?” for everyone to use and reproduce. They illustrate estimates for diabetes, prediabetes, the cost of diabetes (dollars, risk of death, medical costs), specifics about type 1 and type 2 diabetes, risk factors for type 2 diabetes, and a “What You Can Do” section.
If we compare the numbers with previous estimates, we see that there has been an increase in those with diabetes and a decrease in those with prediabetes. However, the numbers are all still extremely high, and the costs and health burdens are staggering!
What can we do with these statistics?
- Use them to help focus efforts to prevent and control diabetes in the U.S.
- Share the positive messages regarding prevention strategies with those at risk of developing or with type 2 diabetes
- Distribute the information to local media and share through your social media sites
- Include in community outreach efforts, especially when trying to reach people who have not been diagnosed but have prediabetes or diabetes
- Present them to elected officials at the state and national levels to drive positive legislative changes by highlighting the magnitude of the cost of diabetes, including personal and economic costs
- Cite them when communicating with employers to promote diabetes self-management education and support program
These are a few ideas but I am sure you have more. Consider sharing this information with your AADE State Coordinating Body and Communities of Interest as well as other colleagues, employers, government officials, and people you work with who have or are affected by diabetes.
About the Author
Karen Kemmis is a physical therapist and certified diabetes educator, and also holds certifications in Pilates for rehabilitation and exercise for aging adults. She is based out of SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY and splits her time between a Joslin Diabetes Center affiliate, an outpatient rehabilitation department, and a PT program where she is an adjunct professor.
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