Today we wanted to take a few moments to talk about the epidemiology of diabetes. Epidemiology looks at the distribution, patterns and risk factors of certain diseases within a population.
In the United States, more than 100 million adults have diabetes which includes those who are diagnosed with diabetes and also those considered prediabetic. Prediabetes is a state where a patient does not quite yet have the diagnosis of diabetes; their blood glucose is high but not yet high enough to have the diagnosis of diabetes. Individuals with prediabetes will usually get diabetes if they don’t start to make some changes to their life.
The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health reported that the number of people affected by diabetes in the US has quadrupled over the last 3 decades. However, a recent report published on 5/28/19 in BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care (https://drc.bmj.com/content/7/1/e000657) noted that the number of new diabetes cases in the US is falling despite rising obesity rates. While the reason has not been identified, there is some speculation that the diagnosis of pre-diabetes may be helping to prevent some cases of diabetes from happening.
Regardless of the epidemiologic trends of diabetes, we do know that the complications and risk factors associated with diabetes can be deadly. Luckily, in the last 20 years, people with diabetes are living longer due to better management of complications and higher awareness.
The major complications of diabetes include heart disease and stroke. People with diabetes are two times as more likely as those without diabetes to have a stroke or heart disease. Another serious complication is blindness and other eye problems. Nerve damage, amputations, gum disease, and other complications also exist.
In our next post, we will delve deeper into some of the above-mentioned topics. If you have any special suggestions on what you’d like to hear about let us know in the comments section below!
From this article you can take away that:
- Many people in the US are living with diabetes or prediabetes
- Knowledge if power; prevention is key
- Diabetes comes with many life-threatening and serious complications which you want to avoid so be aware of what you need to do to avoid complications