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December 4, 2009

Diabetes cases to double, costs to triple in next 25 years

Diabetes is deadly and costly. And the number of people with the disease and the cost to treat them is only expected to soar in the coming years, according to a new study.

In the next 25 years, the number of Americans with diabetes is expected to double from nearly 24 million in 2009 to 44 million in 2034 and the cost of treating the disease will triple from $113 billion to $336 billion, says a new report in the journal Diabetes Care.

The rise in diabetes cases will take a huge toll on the already strained Medicare system. Medicare spending on diabetes is expected to rise from $45 billion to $171 billion, the report estimated.

"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 the study's lead author Dr. Elbert Huang, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago.

Much of the increase will be driven by aging baby boomers, who are nearing the age where they are at higher risk for developing the disease. While not all types of diabetes are preventable, type 2 diabetes -- which accounts for 90-95 percent of all cases -- is linked to obesity.

Still -- and this is fascinating - researchers expect the number of diabetes cases to soar, even if obesity rates remain don't increase.

The figures mirror projections published elsewhere and hope to sound the alarm on the huge impact of the disease. The CDC estimates that if current trends continue, 1 in 3 Americans will develop diabetes over their lifetime.

Not only is diabetes dangerous -- it's the sixth leading cause of death in the nation -- it is costly. The journal Health Affairs highlights the huge expense: Chronic diseases in general account for three-quarters of health care spending and nine chronic diseases -- diabetes included -- account for the 60 percent rise in Medicare costs.  

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Posted by Kelly Brewington at 7:19 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: General Health


nsulin resistance and type II diabetes are almost exclusively diseases of the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries as the commercial food industry has saturated our food supply with glucose. “Factory farms” and industrial scale food production could easily be targeted as the source of our dietary woes, but we can only blame ourselves. The commercial food industry only gives us what we want. We have a natural craving for foods that are high in sugar and fat because the immediate need for energy is preferential over other nutritional requirements.

We crave glucose because it is such a necessary ingredient for our survival, but like so many things, too much is a detriment. Avoiding excessive dietary glucose in today’s world is difficult. Many processed foods are predominantly glucose and usually contain several sources of glucose.

For further information on causes of diabetes, healthy eating, exercise tips, and advice on natural therapy for dealing with diabetes, please see the link below.

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About Picture of Health
Meredith CohnMeredith Cohn has been a reporter since 1991, covering everything from politics and airlines to the environment and medicine. A runner since junior high and a particular eater for almost as long, she tries to keep up on health and fitness trends. Her aim is to bring you the latest news and information from the local and national medical and wellness communities.

Andrea K. WalkerAndrea K. Walker knows it’s weird to some people, but she has a fascination with fitness, diseases, medicine and other health-related topics. She subscribes to a variety of health and fitness magazines and becomes easily engrossed in the latest research in health and science. An exercise fanatic, she’s probably tried just about every fitness activity there is. Her favorites are running, yoga and kickboxing. So it is probably fitting that she has been assigned to cover the business of healthcare and to become a regular contributor to this blog. Andrea has been at The Sun for nearly 10 years, covering manufacturing, retail , airlines and small and minority business. She looks forward to telling readers about the latest health news.

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