Monday, January 04, 2010

Diabetes Rates Continue to Soar

Diabetes Rates Continue to Soar

Diabetes in America is a big problem, and many people seem to be suffering from it. Recent studies have been conducted and all indications are that the diabetes rate could double in 25 years and spending on the disease will nearly triple. Between the aging population and the dramatic rise in obesity, the perfect storm for the rise in diabetes has begun. The cost of caring for diabetes patients is about $113 billion annually, while the projected cost could be in the neighborhood of $336 billion by 2034. About 23 million Americans are suffering from this disease today, and that is way too much. The projected amount in 25 years could exceed 44 million Americans, and that will certainly be a serious issue. Diabetes patients will be older and sicker and will require more expensive medical care, thus the costs will outpace the increase in cases by far.
Age becomes the biggest factor when talking about type 2 diabetes. Baby boomers are transitioning from middle to old age, and will drive much of the costs. By 2034, half of all direct spending in diabetes care is projected to occur with the 8 million Americans covered by Medicare. So while there is literally nothing we can do about the aging of our population, much can be done about the other major risk factor for type 2 diabetes disease, obesity. Obesity is certainly an issue in the United States and about 65% of all Americans are overweight. The obesity rate has doubled from 1980 to 2004, but it appears to have stabilized since then.
So while Americans continue to age and drive up the costs of diabetes in the future, there can be something done about obesity. Studies indicate that as little as 30 minutes of exercise five or more days a week can drastically cut down on the risk getting diabetes. People that take the time to cut about 7% of their body weight will be much better off. Doing nothing right now could cost billions in the long run. If there is anyone you know who is affected by this, then spread the word. Exercise can truly save your life.

Article by
Natilia Vermiz

Best wishes,
James M. Wilson Sr., CO RPA

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