03 November 2010

Diabetes in Future Years

Everyone is making their prognostications about the future of diabetes. Because diabetes is expanding its influence on people's lives, this seems to be where all the evidence and predictions are being waged. People have learned that predicting when a cure will happen is futile.

Is it Big Pharma that is blocking a cure? Maybe. It does merit some concern as it would definitely eat into their profits. I agree with Gretchen Becker that the cure will come from the academic community; however, I will continue to watch with interest the alliance of Big Pharma with the academic community as news comes out about different products.

The ADA has laid out some statistics that should be considered. Yes, the American Diabetes Association now has a blog with posts by Gayle Kern from the communications division. These facts are as follows and not prognostications.

Today, more than 4300 people will be diagnosed with diabetes.
More than 200 people will die today from diabetes.
1 in 3 Americans (and 1 in 2 minorities) born today will develop diabetes if current trends continue.
Diabetes kills more Americans each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.

Type 2 diabetes is on the increase and will continue to increase according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Emory University. They predict Type 2 diabetes increase by 2050 to about one in every three adults in the US.

Even if there are about one in every ten adult Americans has diabetes there are several justifications why this will increase. First, the percentage of minority groups in the US with a higher risk for diabetes will continue to grow. Second, more people are putting on the pounds and weight/obesity are key risk factors in type 2 diabetes. And third, people with diabetes in America continue to live longer with more effective therapies and medications coming on the market.

It is not a total surprise that expectations are for an increase and for this the media has been cooperative within their limited knowledge of diabetes. Education by the various diabetes and medical groups will only help. Then we will need the cooperation of these groups to aggressive in diagnosis and treatment for this to be successful. The picture is not pretty, but needs the attention of everyone.

The actions of one group discussed here may be the help needed to get this started.

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