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Saturday 22nd October 2016

Diabetes could double by 2034

1st December 2009

The prevalence of diabetes in the US will all but double if the disease keeps to its current rates, increasing by as much as 21 million people in 25 years, according to a new study.


Researchers said that the average age of the population in the USA, as well as a rise in obesity there, have both contributed to a dramatically increased number of diabetes cases.

Elbert S. Huang of the University of Chicago, one of the researchers, said that the situation of diabetes in the USA was like a "perfect storm," and that the status quo could lead to massive increases in the incidence of diabetes.

The researchers predict that as many as 44 million people in the USA could have diabetes by the year 2034, which would mean a US$336 rise in healthcare costs by today's standards.

According to the researchers, such an increase in cost would represent an older, sicker population requiring diabetes treatment.

Because age is one of the biggest risk factors for diabetes, 25 years from now is a significant span of time.

Currently, 65% of all Americans are overweight, and about one third are obese.

However, if obesity rates in the US decrease, Huang's predictions may not come true.

Study co-researcher Michael O'Grady said that the cost of doing nothing would clearly be quite high, and that if Americans did nothing right now, it would cost them billions and billions of dollars.

The Diabetes Prevention Program, a large study which examined the effect of dieting and exercise upon diabetes rates in at-risk populations, found that people can minimise their chance of developing diabetes by losing just 7% of their body weight and exercising five times a week.

O'Grady said that even modest weight loss and as little as 30 minutes of exercise five or more days a week was enough to keep people from getting diabetes.


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