The Diabetes Pandemic by Dr. Mansur Shomali
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC serves as the United States’ health protection agency. Since 2019, the CDC has been busy with the COVID-19 pandemic. A few months ago, the agency released the latest statistics regarding diabetes and prediabetes.
37.3 million people have diabetes (11.3% of the US population); this includes both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. 23% of the 37.3 million people are undiagnosed
49.4% of people with diabetes had an A1C value of 7.0% or higher
Only 18.2% of people with diabetes met all of these criteria:
A1C value <7.0%
Blood pressure <140/90 mmHg
Non-HDL cholesterol <130 mg/dL
Being a nonsmoker
96 million people have prediabetes (38.0% of the adult US population)
As a physician who specializes in caring for people with diabetes, these numbers alarm me. Considering how much time I spend with my patients with diabetes, and knowing how few diabetes specialists there are, I wonder how our healthcare systems will be able to take care of all these people? Clearly one-on-one medical care is not sufficient to address the diabetes “pandemic.” We need our government and medical leaders to enact policies that provide public health resources to communities. Lifestyle education that targets youth as well as adults is urgently needed.
Source: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/statistics-report/index.html; accessed 2 May 2022.