Fewer cases of diabetes are being reported in recent years. However, the epidemic is not over!!
The number of new diabetes cases being reported has declined for the fifth year straight. After decades of increases, this is a positive sign according to health care professionals. In 2014, 1.4 million people were diagnosed with diabetes, which is down from 1.7 million new cases reported in 2009. While the statistics are great news, they don’t mean the epidemic has ended.
All Cases Together
This data is taken from a national survey that includes both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, even though there are vast differences between the two. Type 1 is an autoimmune disorder, typically diagnosed in childhood; whereas, Type 2 affects mostly older people, with obesity and a sedentary lifestyle as key risk factors. In all, 29 million Americans have diabetes as of 2014.
Declines, but Not for Everyone
Even though the numbers are headed in the right direction, there is still a long way to go to reverse the significant increase in diabetes sufferers throughout the years. The number of Americans currently living with diabetes is triple what it was in 1980. In addition, diabetes is more prevalent among Blacks and Hispanics, and between 2009 and 2014 there has been no significant change in the number of new cases reported among these populations.
The decline among new cases overall has been credited to efforts such as the Diabetes Prevention Program hosted by the National Institute of Health. These programs have been around long enough to effectively spread the word that maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly reduces the risk of diabetes. In general, people are also more aware of eating healthy and avoiding high sugar foods like soda and junk food.
Even though new diabetes diagnoses are declining, it appears the country’s obesity rate has plateaued. This and other macro factors, including activity levels, sleep patterns, processed food consumption and more, threaten the declining trend of new cases. While the statistics look positive, there is still plenty of work to be done to keep reducing the number of Americans living with diabetes.
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