Diabetes to double or triple in U.S. by 2050: government

WASHINGTON Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:09pm EDT

Client Viola Sanon has her finger pricked for a blood sugar test in the Family Van in Boston, Massachusetts, August 9, 2010. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Client Viola Sanon has her finger pricked for a blood sugar test in the Family Van in Boston, Massachusetts, August 9, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder

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WASHINGTON (Reuters Life!) - Up to a third of U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050 if Americans continue to gain weight and avoid exercise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projected on Friday.

The numbers are certain to go up as the population gets older, but they will accelerate even more unless Americans change their behavior, the CDC said.

"We project that, over the next 40 years, the prevalence of total diabetes (diagnosed and undiagnosed) in the United States will increase from its current level of about one in 10 adults to between one in five and one in three adults in 2050," the CDC's James Boyle and colleagues wrote in their report.

"These are alarming numbers that show how critical it is to change the course of type-2 diabetes," CDC diabetes expert Ann Albright said in a statement.

"Successful programs to improve lifestyle choices on healthy eating and physical activity must be made more widely available because the stakes are too high and the personal toll too devastating to fail."

The CDC says about 24 million U.S. adults have diabetes now, most of them type-2 diabetes linked strongly with poor diet and lack of exercise.

Boyle's team took census numbers and data on current diabetes cases to make models projecting a trend. No matter what, diabetes will become more common, they said.

"These projected increases are largely attributable to the aging of the U.S. population, increasing numbers of members of higher-risk minority groups in the population, and people with diabetes living longer," they wrote.

Diabetes was the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States in 2007, and is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults under age 75, as well as kidney failure, and leg and foot amputations not caused by injury.

"Diabetes, costing the United States more than $174 billion per year in 2007, is expected to take an increasingly large financial toll in subsequent years," Boyle's team wrote.

(Editing by Xavier Briand)

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Comments (34)
diet-myths wrote:
I think it’s pretty clear that this obesity problem is starting to get extremely scary and our current tactics to battle it are failing hard. We need a complete overhaul in the way we teach health promotion to all populations because whatever were doing now is NOT working.


Oct 22, 2010 8:37am EDT  --  Report as abuse
poj wrote:
I think it’s pretty clear that the media and those who want to profit from promoting fear of obesity generate stories of fear and projections and stuudies of such fear. I’m sure that everyone asscoiated with the study have a drug or diet or something they are pushing and they use such a story to promote their profit motives.

Oct 22, 2010 9:21am EDT  --  Report as abuse
murrietamike wrote:
Uh, I’m not sure what “programs” are needed. People know they’re fat, they know they eat junk all the time, they know they don’t exercise. Why in the world does the Nanny state have to come in and save people from themselves?

Oct 22, 2010 9:35am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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