From the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
New CDC data published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA, suggest that after decades of continued growth in cases of diagnosed diabetes, the rate of increase may be slowing from year to year.
The study, “Prevalence and Incidence in Trends for Diagnosed Diabetes Among Adults Aged 20 to 79 Years, United States, 1980–2012,” was published today.
“Our findings suggest that, after decades of continued growth in the prevalence and incidence of diagnosed diabetes, the diabetes epidemic may be beginning to slow for the first time,” said Linda Geiss, a chief epidemiologist in CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation and lead author of the study.
What This Means:
- About 1.7 million new cases are diagnosed each year. For the first time, this study shows that number is not getting bigger every year, as in years past, but the numbers are still alarmingly high.
- These data suggest a change in momentum, a turning of the tides. Now is not the time to let up. Although this news inspires hope, there is still much work to be done.
- The rate of increase may be slowing from year to year, but diabetes is an urgent public health epidemic, affecting more than 29 million Americans.
- Although overall growth rates of diagnosed diabetes seem to be slowing, the rate of increase of new cases continues to rise among some groups including:
- Non-Hispanic blacks.
- Hispanic men and women, and
- People with less than a high school education.
“While this news is encouraging, our work is more important now than ever,” says Ann Albright, PhD, RD, director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation. “These evolving trends show we’re moving in the right direction, but millions of people are still diagnosed with diabetes yearly. We need to fortify our efforts to see a real, sustained decrease in new cases of diagnosed diabetes.”
What You Can Do:
Reducing new cases of diabetes is unlikely without continuing to reduce obesity, improve diet, and reduce sedentary lifestyle in the U.S. population, and particularly in those at high risk of developing diabetes. Long-term lifestyle change programs—like the CDC-managed National Diabetes Prevention Program—can help those at high risk of developing the disease.