What NIH Statistics Reveal About Diabetes Prevalence

Author(s): 
By John Steinberg, DPM

Given the trends indicating the increasing prevalence of diabetes in the United States, this national health concern has commanded a drastic increase in general public media attention. According to an American Diabetes Association study, the overall costs for diabetes total $98 billion, with direct medical costs of $44 billion and indirect expenses (such as disability, work loss and premature mortality) adding up to $54 billion.
There are numerous statistics and information sources which can help you achieve to establish a better understanding of the disease and its impact on the health care system. However, no information source is more universally accepted than the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Without further delay, let’s take a closer look at some of the NIH statistics.
Type 2 diabetes may account for about 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is associated with older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, prior history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, physical inactivity and race/ethnicity. African-Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians and some Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders are at particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes. Practitioners are also increasingly diagnosing type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents.
Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and impaired fasting glucose (IFG) are considered prediabetic conditions and studies suggest they may be reversible. IGT is a condition in which the blood glucose level is elevated (between 140 and 199 milligrams per deciliter or mg/dL in a two-hour oral glucose tolerance test) but is not high enough to be classified as diabetes. IFG is a condition in which the fasting blood glucose level is elevated (between 110 and 125 mg/dL after an overnight fast) but is not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Among U.S. adults 40 to 74 years old, 16 million have IGT and 10 million have IFG.

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