Possible Diabetes Diagnosis For 53 Million Americans By 2025
May 16, 2012

Possible Diabetes Diagnosis For 53 Million Americans By 2025

Connie K. Ho for RedOrbit.com

A new report in Population Health Management (PHM) discusses the Diabetes 2025 Model for the U.S., its predictions on the increase in the number of people who have diabetes, and how this rise could impact the health care system. The researchers explained their predictions for specific states and population subgroups with 15-year projections. Based on the Diabetes 2025 Model, the authors believe that diabetes (mainly type 2) will affect 53.1 million Americans by 2025; it´s an increase of 64 percent from 2010.

The project was created to make information on projections of diabetes more widely available. The researchers also hoped to make the data easily accessible both online and in person. The Diabetes 2025 Model was created based off the most current U.S. Census Bureau forecasts.

According to the report, the incidence and prevalence of diabetes has risen from 1990. The study was done by Dr. William Rowley and Dr. Clement Bezold with the Institute for Alternative Futures. The report was published in PHM, which focuses on strategies for improving policies and systems of health care quality, access, and outcome. It also provides research on social, cultural, economic, and environmental factors that may affect health care systems and practices.

"Diabetes is now a national security issue as it threatens all aspects of our nation´s well-being," noted Journal Editor-in-Chief Dr. David B. Nash, Dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health, in a prepared statement.

The report stated that the Diabetes 2025 Model can be used to show the benefits of changing lifestyle habits and particular interventions in helping to reduce the diabetes epidemic.

“Early appropriate treatment makes a significant difference in preventing major complications and reducing premature death, but it does not cure the disease. Early detection of prediabetes, in conjunction with lifestyle changes, can reduce the number of people with diabetes,” wrote authors in the report.

Furthermore, researchers believe that changes in lifestyle could lead to saving millions in health care costs.

“If our health care system were able to persuade 50% of Americans with prediabetes every year to seriously change their lifestyles for the rest of their lives, the result could be about 4.7 million fewer cases of diabetes in 2025 with a cumulative savings of about $300 billion. Yet even if this happened, there would still be 48.4 million Americans living with diabetes,” explained authors in the report. “These sobering numbers suggest that it would take dramatic lifestyle changes on the part of all of society to prevent prediabetes in the first place in order to produce a dramatic decline by 2025. More realistically, it shows that we will continue to have a huge burden of diabetes to contend with for the foreseeable future.”

The team hopes that the report will be used by states and metropolitan areas in creating awareness about the diabetes epidemic.

“Awareness can be a catalyst for building local coalitions of concerned stakeholders to develop specific strategies to address the greatest diabetes challenges in their community,” remarked the authors in the report. “Helping employers become aware of the significant risk of diabetes for their employees encourages action to develop tailored company wellness programs to help keep workers healthy. Specific data showing the special challenges for particular minority groups is valuable for community leaders and health professionals to develop targeted programs to address those in greatest need“¦ A key force for change is awareness.”