November is American Diabetes Month

November is American Diabetes Month, a time to communicate the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of diabetes prevention and control.  For years, the American Diabetes Association has used this month as an opportunity to raise awareness of the disease and its serious complications.

With nearly 24 million children and adults in the United States living with diabetes, and an additional 57 million Americans at risk, simple awareness will no longer suffice.  One out of every three children born today will face a future with diabetes if current trends continue  Diabetes is not merely a condition.  It is an epidemic disease.

The Toll on Health

– The death rate from diabetes continues to climb.  Since 1987, the death rate due to diabetes has increased by 45%, while the death rates due to cancer, heart disease, and stroke have declined.

– About 60-70% 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.

– The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for people without diabetes.

– Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.

– Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults.

– Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure.

Cost of Diabetes

– The total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the US 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 disease.  Indirect costs amount to $58 billion (disability, work loss, premature mortality).

– The cost of caring for someone with diabetes is $1 out of every $5 in total healthcare costs.

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