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New study projects dismal outlook for growth of diabetes

LatinaLista — The day after the one day in the year we think all can be forgiven diet-wise, a new study is released projecting how many people will be affected by diabetes in 25 years.


The numbers are not good.

Today, there are about 24 million people who suffer from diabetes. By 2034, there will be 44 million. It goes without saying that the cost of treating diabetes will also rise — triple, in fact. It will increase from from an estimated $113 billion in 2009 to $336 billion in 2034.

The thrust of the report is to show lawmakers and policymakers just how overtaxed our current healthcare system will be if reforms are not made to accommodate the cost of care in a growing diabetic population.

For Medicare, the project growth in diabetes care spending exceeds current projections of spending by Medicare and for the growth domestic product.

The report’s authors attribute one factor to driving the soaring costs — the number of people living with diabetes for lengthy periods.

“This is, in a sense, evidence of an iceberg,” Dr. David Kendall, chief scientific and medical officer for the American Diabetes Association, said. “What we are seeing currently is only a fraction of the potential future risk.”

…”This is clearly a very pressing problem,” said study co-author Michael O’Grady, a senior fellow at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. “It’s one of the few chronic illnesses we have that is growing, and the cost of doing nothing is going to be quite high.”

So what can be done.

Something very simple — exercise for at least 30 minutes a day and cut down on sweets, fried and fatty foods.

Regardless of when or if healthcare reform is passed, no one should be waiting to get their health in order. This is one issue that should not be put off until mañana anymore, especially when Latinos are prime targets of this disease that can rob a person of their eyesight, their legs and the enjoyment of eating buñuelos, flan, tres leches cake, etc.


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