After doubling of the incidence of diabetes in the U.S. from 1990-2008, the U.S., government data showed that the rate leveled off rate between 2008 and 2012 for adults, but the rates continue to increase for Hispanics and African-Americans.
According to the study in the September 24 issue of (Journal of the American Medical Association) JAMA, the trend of the flat rate may be linked to slowdown in obesity rate.
“Following a doubling of the incidence and prevalence of diagnosed diabetes during 1990-2008, our nationally representative data suggest a potential slowing in the diabetes epidemic,” the researchers wrote.
The researchers observed medical data (type 1 and type 2 combined) from 665,000 adults aged between 20 to 79, from 1980 to 2012, from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to measure the the trends in the rate.
“We are beginning to see a slowing of the increase in diabetes, and potentially a plateauing,” said study co-author Ann Albright, director of the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation. “It should give us all some optimism, but it does mean we should not sit on our laurels.”
In 1990, diabetes prevalence was 3.5 per 100 people and rose to 7.9 per 100 by 2008, although it remained level at 8.3 per 100 in 2012.
In 1990 the diabetes case was 3.2 per 1,000 people, rising to 8.8 per 1,000 in 2008, and again decreasing down to 7.1 per 1,000 in 2012.
Programs such as the National Diabetes Prevention Program aimed at cutting a person’s risks of developing type 2 diabetes may have also helped other population groups.
Linda S. Geiss, M.A., of CDC, Atlanta, and colleagues suggested that prevalence continued to grow among those with a high school education or less.
“This threatens to exacerbate racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in diabetes prevalence and incidence. Furthermore, in light of the well-known excess risk of amputation, blindness, end-stage renal disease, disability, mortality, and health care costs associated with diabetes, the doubling of diabetes incidence and prevalence ensures that diabetes will remain a major public health problem that demands effective prevention and management programs,” the authors write.
And even with the plateau observed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , diabetes may be an expensive public health crisis for years to come, Ratner noted.
“Keep in mind, in 2012, we spend $245 billion on diabetes and its complications,” he said. “Unless we do something to really stop the development of diabetes, we’re going to end up spending even more money, and diabetes is going to bankrupt us.”