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Diabetes Rates Continue to Soar
Date:1/28/2008

Trend will lead to health and economic trouble for U.S., report says

MONDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The number of Americans being diagnosed with and also living with type 2 diabetes is soaring, presenting a major health and economic crisis for the United States, a new study reports.

"What's alarming is we have 47 million uninsured people, but these people [in the study, enrolled under Medicare] are all insured. So in this kind of insured program, we have so many people who are not adhering to the recommended care," said Frank Sloan, lead author of the study published in the Jan. 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Sloan is professor of health policy and management at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is increasing not only in an aging population, but in younger persons as well. The condition brings with it high risks of complications such as blindness, kidney disease, eye disease and amputations.

To see whether health outcomes in older people with diabetes in the United States improved from the period 1994 to 2004, the study authors analyzed Medicare claims and other data. This information was compared with two "control" groups of people without diabetes.

Between 1994-95 and 2003-04, the annual incidence of diabetes (new diagnoses) increased by 23 percent, while the prevalence (those living with the disease) increased by 62 percent.

Complication rates among people with diabetes stayed the same or increased. Strikingly, there was a large increase in kidney disease.

Most individuals with diabetes had at least one complication within six years of diagnosis. Almost half had congestive heart failure.

The study points to a stark need for preventive strategies, said Dr. Spyros Mezitis, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

"What we're doing is treating, and we're not
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