Blog | Friday, October 22, 2010

QD: News Every Day--Worst-case scenario projects one-third of adults will have diabetes by 2050

As much as a third of the U.S. population could have diabetes by 2050, much of it related to poor lifestyle, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in the journal Population Health Metrics.

The authors laid out projected growth this way: New cases will increase from about eight cases per 1,000 in 2008 to about 15 in 2050. Assuming low incidence and relatively high diabetes mortality, total diabetes prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed cases is projected to increase from 14% in 2010 to 21% of adults by 2050.

The worst-case scenario is that recent increases in diabetes incidence continue and diabetes mortality is relatively low, driving prevalence to 33% by 2050. A middle-ground scenario projects a prevalence of 25% to 28% by 2050.

The newer, bleaker figures are based on newer census figures that account for an aging population, rising minority and immigrant populations that are at higher risk, as well as for the prevalence of pre-diabetes in the U.S. population. About one in four Americans have pre-diabetes, although only one in 20 know it. Also, the good news that fewer people are dying from diabetes is also the bad news, since this factors into the higher prevalence as well.

The CDC estimates the current cost of diabetes at $174 billion annually, which could double in the next 20 years, the American Diabetes Association's chief medical officer told USA Today.