The Coming Diabetes Epidemic

An epidemic is defined as ” affecting or tending to affect an atypically large number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time.”(Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary) According to the latest figures, more than 10% of the American adult population have diabetes( see here for the prevalence of diabetes in New Jersey counties; other states rates are here); by 2050, that number will climb to a projected high-end figure of 33%. This chilling future scenario is detailed in this article from Population Health Metrics, “Projection of the year 2050 burden of diabetes in the U.S. adult population….” The authors state that: ” Our estimates of diabetes prevalence paint a sobering picture of the future growth of diabetes.”(p.10) They go on to cite many reasons for the projected growth of diabetes; i.e., lower mortality rates for those who have diabetes, an aging population that is more susceptible to developing diabetes, and the fact that some minority populations have a higher incidence of diabetes than non-Hispanic whites. Reliable information on this disease can be found at: MedlinePlus, the CDC, PubMed Central (where you will find such fine articles as Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes-2009), and Evidence-based Practice Centers (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HHS).

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