November Is Almost Gone – Don’t Forget It Is National Diabetes Month

November 30, 2009 in Diabetes by Joyce Bunderson

Packing up Thanksgiving.

Packing up Thanksgiving.

Don’t forget that November is National Diabetes Month. Let’s remember the growing epidemic of diabetes. The line graph in the New England Journal of Medicine can help us visualize the growth in the number of those affected.

The American Diabetes Association reports the staggering prevalence of diabetes at 24 million people (just under 8% of the U.S. population) with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and another 57 million with pre-diabetes who are at risk of type 2 diabetes. There are approximately 1.6 million new cases of diabetes diagnosed in those aged 20 and older each year.  Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.

It’s not just death that is a concern. There are serious complications that impact the quality of life, including: heart disease and stoke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, nervous system disease (neuropathy) and amputations.

Diabetes is costing our country over $174 billion dollars. People with diabetes have medical expenses that are 2.3 times higher than what expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes.
An important point I’d like to make about diabetes is that it is possible to have good health while managing diabetes.  It takes lots of effort and commitment, but it can be done.   (See Dr Grandpa’s blog on it).