After years of substantial increases, rates of diabetes may be plateauing in the U.S…
Although incidence and prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes both rose between 1990 and 2008, trends have been flat through 2012, reported Linda Geiss, MA, of the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The trend may be related to a recent slowing in obesity rates, the researchers suggested…
For their study, Geiss and colleagues looked at diabetes data (type 1 and type 2 combined) from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) on 664,969 adults, ages 20 to 79.
They saw that the annual percentage change in incidence and prevalence of diabetes didn’t change significantly during the 1980s, but it rose sharply each year between 1990-2008.
However, diabetes prevalence continued to grow among patients with a high school education or less, and incidence rates are still rising in Hispanics and blacks, they found…
“This threatens to exacerbate racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in diabetes prevalence and incidence,” they wrote.
Increases in incidence and prevalence seen in the 90s and early 2000s were likely tied to several factors, the researchers said, including improved rates of survival, growth of minority populations at higher risk, enhanced case detection, changes in diabetes diagnostic criteria, and increased environmental and behavioral risk factors such as sedentary lifestyle and obesity.
Reasons for the slowing of that trend are difficult to determine from cross-sectional surveillance data, they noted, although the findings could have something to do with recent changes in obesity prevalence. Studies have shown that obesity rates have been stalling, with no change in obesity prevalence in adults since 2003-2004.
The slowing in both obesity and diabetes trends is in line with declines in overall caloric intake, food purchases, and energy intake…
They cautioned that the decline doesn’t mean physicians should get too comfortable when it comes to preventing and treating diabetes.
“In light of the well-known excess risk of amputation, blindness, end-stage renal disease, disability, mortality and healthcare costs associated with diabetes,” they wrote, “the doubling of diabetes incidence and prevalence ensures that diabetes will remain a major public health problem that demands effective prevention and management programs.”
Nice to have my cynicism answered, corrected – feeding optimism for the potential for our species. I joke about human beings having a redirective capacity – to learn and correct mistakes – just not in my lifetime.
But, over this reasonably long span [so far] I’ve seen exercise increase and improve and understanding of healthful nutrition get a foothold. Consumption of abusively harmful products like alcohol are slightly diminished, cigarettes cut way back from my childhood days. Mutual understanding of sexuality has bright beginnings outside the chainlink fence of fundamentalist religions. And, now, the twin disasters of obesity and diabetes seem at least to have halted what felt like runaway growth.