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Pre-diabetes and diabetes nearly double over the past 2 decades
Date:4/15/2014

Cases of diabetes and pre-diabetes in the United States have nearly doubled since 1988, suggests new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, with obesity apparently to blame for the surge. The researchers also found that the burden of the disease has not hit all groups equally, with alarming increases in diabetes in blacks, Hispanics and the elderly.

According to new research reported in the April 15, 2014 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, diabetes increased from 6 percent to 10 percent in the past two decades and pre-diabetes also doubled in prevalence over the same period. Depending on the definition used, current estimates of the prevalence of pre-diabetes range from 12 percent to 30 percent in the population. "There is a growing need to recognize this serious issue, especially since most cases of diabetes can be prevented through weight loss and other lifestyle changes," said lead author, Elizabeth Selvin, PhD, MPH, an Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

In 2010, approximately 21 million American adults aged 20 or older had confirmed diabetes (either diagnosed or undiagnosed). The investigators analyzed data from more than 43,000 participants collected over two decades in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES). Selvin and her fellow investigators set out to update national trends in pre-diabetes, diabetes and its treatment based on data from the NHANES.

One novel aspect of this study was to "confirm" cases of undiagnosed diabetes in the population. Previous studies of diabetes prevalence have relied on single tests of glucose to identify undiagnosed cases of diabetes in the population. But in reality, glucose tests would be confirmed by a second test in the doctor's office. The investigators used a second measure, HbA1c, a lab test that measures glucose over the past three months, to confirm all cases of undiagnosed diabetes
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Contact: Susan Sperry
ssperry1@jhu.edu
410-955-6919
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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