How much worse can the type 2 diabetes epidemic get? Shockingly, a new study published by a leading medical journal says that 40% of the adult population of the
The new study in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal, from a team of researchers from the
Americans are generally living longer, which is a factor in their increased lifetime chance of developing type 2 diabetes. They are also not dying in the same proportions that they were, because of better treatment. However, that means they are going to spend far more years of their lives suffering from type 2 diabetes, which can lead to blindness and foot amputations as well as heart problems.
This is very bad news for the US healthcare system, says Dr
As the number of diabetes cases continue to increase and patients live longer there will be a growing demand for health services and extensive costs. More effective lifestyle interventions are urgently needed to reduce the number of new cases in the
Both he and
The trends reported by Gregg and colleagues are probably similar across the developed world, where large increases in diabetes prevalence in the past two decades have been reported.
Primary prevention strategies are urgently needed. Excellent evidence has shown that diabetes can be prevented with lifestyle changes. However, provision of these interventions on an individual basis might not be sustainable.
Only a population-based approach to prevention can address a problem of this magnitude. Prevention strategies should include optimisation of urban planning, food-marketing policies, and work and school environments that enable individuals to make healthier lifestyle choices. With an increased focus on interventions aimed at children and their families, there might still be time to change the fate of our future generations by lowering their risk of type 2 diabetes.
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