The article, “Diabetes 2030,” illustrates that diabetes presents a major health crisis in terms of prevalence, morbidity and costs. Insights from the updated projections show that the crisis will worsen significantly over the next 15 years. There are several reasons cited for the worsening trend, including: 1. An aging population that is living longer, 2. The significant decline in the incidence of deaths caused by diabetes, which implies that more diabetic patients present with significant chronic co-morbidities, 3. The increasing population of African American and Hispanic Americans who are at a higher risk of diabetes, 4. Dramatic increase in type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents, and 5. Increasing obesity may lead to increasing diabetes.
Health care leaders should understand the importance of identifying adults with prediabetes. Health care leaders should also focus on education and awareness, as 1 in 4 Americans do not know that they have prediabetes and it can lead to life threatening complications. There is also a huge gap between a recommended guideline and current practice. A 2014 study by Li et al found that only 6.8% of privately insured, newly diagnosed adults participated in Diabetes Self – Management Education and Training within the first year after diagnosis, even though it was free and strongly recommended. The cost of diabetes will increase by 53% ($408 billion to $622 billion) by 2030. Aggressive efforts at local, state and federal levels in prevention will be needed to significantly reduce the diabetes epidemic by 2030.
The diabetes epidemic can be prevented using a “population wide” approach that addresses health promotion, obesity prevention, and creates a physical, cultural, and psychological environment that supports healthy living naturally.
“Diabetes 2030: Insights from Yesterday, Today and Future Trends” By Rowley MD et al, Population Health Management, Volume 20, Number 1, 2017.