Doubling or tripling of Americans with diabetes

As many as 1 in 3 U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue, according to a new analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

One in 10 U.S. adults has diabetes now. The prevalence is expected to rise sharply over the next 40 years due to an aging population more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, increases in minority groups that are at high risk for type 2 diabetes, and people with diabetes living longer, according to CDC projections published in the journal Population Health Metrics. Because the study factored in aging, minority populations and lifespan, the projections are higher than previous estimates.

The report estimates that the number of Americans with diabetes will range from 1 in 3 to 1 in 5 by 2050. That range reflects differing assumptions about how many people will develop diabetes, and how long they will live after developing the disease.

“These are alarming numbers that show how critical it is to change the course of type 2 diabetes,” said Ann Albright, PhD, RD, director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation. “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.”

CDC and its partners are working on a variety of initiatives to prevent type 2 diabetes and to reduce its complications. For a full copy of the report, go to www.pophealthmetrics.com/content/8/1/29.

Susan Trossman is the senior reporter in ANA’s communications department.

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