Stemming the Diabetes Epidemic

By American Diabetes Association, Special for  USDR

The American Diabetes Association (Association) urges renewed attention to and investment in stemming the diabetes epidemic, following the release of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2017 National Diabetes Statistics Report. The new report reviewed 2015 data to confirm more than 114 million Americans have diabetes or  prediabetes.

While the rate of new diabetes diagnoses remains steady, the report details 30.3 million Americans — 9.4 percent of the U.S. population — have diabetes; an increase from 29.1 million in 2014. Another 84.1 million have prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. In addition, the rate of diabetes among ethnic minorities continues to be higher:  American Indians/Alaska Natives (15.1 percent); non-Hispanic blacks (12.7 percent); and Hispanics (12.1 percent); Asians (8.0 percent); compared to non-Hispanic whites (7.4  percent).

“Diabetes and prediabetes remain serious threats for more than one-third of Americans―the statistics are staggering,” said the Association’s Chief Scientific, Medical & Mission Officer William T. Cefalu, MD. “We must continue to innovate in scientific research and to translate findings to the clinical level to decrease the prevalence of diabetes. This data clearly confirms it is critical for us to continue to provide the education and support needed to improve health outcomes and decrease the daily burden of diabetes. We must reduce the incidence of diabetes and its enormous costs, including both the financial costs and the human toll  of lost quality of life and lives, to our communities across the  country.”

People with diabetes are at significant risk for serious complications, especially kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, blindness and lower-limb amputations. Lifestyle changes, including healthy food choices, weight loss and exercise along with medication, can often reduce the risk for and delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Later onset of diabetes reduces the risk of complications, thus decreasing the lifelong  impact.

The Association remains committed to raising voice to the urgency of this public health crisis, and raising awareness as a critical component to preventing diabetes. The Association’s Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test, a free, evidence-based, online tool, scores participants based on their unique responses, and at the conclusion of the test displays a numerical score indicating the participants’ risk for having type 2 diabetes. Individuals who receive a high score are encouraged to speak with a health care professional right away, and are given tips and information about next  steps.

For more information and resources about diabetes, visit

About the American Diabetes  Association
More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, and every 21 seconds another person is diagnosed with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association (Association) is the global authority on diabetes and since 1940 has been committed to its mission to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. To tackle this global public health crisis, the Association drives discovery in research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and provides support and advocacy for people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes and the health care professionals who serve them. For more information, please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram  (@AmDiabetesAssn).

SOURCE American Diabetes  Association

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