A Day in the Life of Diabetes

By Diane Ruyack

Diabetes can be controlled not cured.  With the prevalence of diabetes in children and adults here in the United States, the American Diabetes Association will launch a socially-focused initiative, “A Day in the Life of Diabetes”, to demonstrate the increasing impact diabetes has on families and communities nationwide.  ADA wants to focus on the issue of diabetes and those who live with it each and every day. Successfully managing diabetes can be a monumental task, making what might seem like an otherwise ordinary life rather extraordinary.  Who do you know is a diabetic? Here are some statistics that are staggering:

  • Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.
  • Another 79 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take steps to Stop Diabetes.

The Toll on Health

  • Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults.
  • The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for people without diabetes.
  • About 60-70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nerve damage that could result in pain in the feet or hands, slowed digestion, sexual dysfunction and other nerve problems.

Cost of Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $174 billion.

  • Direct medical costs reach $116 billion and the average medical expenditure among people with diabetes is 2.3 times higher than those without the disease.
  • Indirect costs amount to $58 billion (disability, work loss, premature mortality).
  • Further published studies suggest that when additional costs for gestational diabetes, prediabetes and undiagnosed diabetes are included, the total diabetes-related costs in the U.S. could exceed $218 billion.
  • The cost of caring for someone with diabetes is $1 out of every $5 in total healthcare costs.

Raising awareness of this ever-growing disease is one of the main efforts behind the mission of the American Diabetes Association.

 

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