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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Diabetes Toll Continues to Grow

Diabetes toll news are discouraging. For one thing, it is growing thanks to unhealthy lifestyle and obesity. Some studies have reported around 7% of the population in the United States are affected by it. The figure is around 20.8 million children and adults have it.

By 2050, the estimate is grim. About 48 million Americans will develop type 2 diabetes. The complications that come with it makes the diabetes toll discouraging indeed. These complications could come in the form of loss of hearing, blindness, kidney damage, disorders of the nervous system and amputations.

Now studies are saying that the generations born in 2000 will probably have shorter life than their parents. That's because of diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Now the sad part is that they are saying the most promising drug Avandia seems to increase the risk of heart attack. That is why I am glad when I hear of briefing like below.

Diabetes experts, American Diabetes Association, and the Congressional Caucus held a briefing to talk about the yearly cost estimate for diabetes. They discussed the Lewin Group study that compiled these statistics for the American Diabetes Association.

There are both direct and indirect costs of this condition. The speakers at this briefing revealed the overwhelming figures. They made the disturbing expense incurred by the Americans public. The economic impact of this disease is truly staggering.

The leaders of the Congressional Caucus who spoke at the briefing are Representatives Mike Castle, Diana DeGette, Mark Kirk, and Xavier Becerra. ADA was represented by its Chairman of the Board, Stewart Perry.

The president of ADA's Health Care and Education, Ann L. Albright, PhD, RD also delivered a speech. The same is true with the director of the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases, Griffin Rodgers, MD, MACP and the chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Epidemiology and Statistics Branch, Ed Gregg, PhD.

In the United States, diabetes is now recognized as the fifth cause of death by disease. The death rate caused by diabetes has risen by 45% since 1987. Compare this statistics for the death rate caused by stroke, cancer and heart disease which has gone down and you will see what a difference a few years made.

I was hoping they would discuss not only the economic impact of the disease but also the emotional struggle the diabetics along with their families have to go through but I didn't see this in the agenda. But we can help along because by changing to healthier lifestyle we could lower the diabetes toll.

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