As the prevalence of diabetes in America continues to climb, practitioners are faced with questions every day in their practices. Questions such as, "Can I eat cake now? When will this diet be over?"
As simple as they seem, questions like these open the door for a conversation that can change the lives of our patients, neighbors, parents, and possibly our own children.
Taken directly from the American Diabetes Association 2017 National Diabetes Statistics Report, the prevalence of diabetes in 2015 was 30.3 million Americans, or 9.4 percent of the population. Of that 30.3 million, approximately 1.25 million American children and adults have type 1 diabetes.1
At that time there were 1.5 million new cases of diabetes diagnosed every year. If we followed that trend, we extrapolate the number in 2019 to be close to 34.8 million Americans affected today.
In 2015, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. with 79,535 death certificates listing it as the underlying cause of death, and a total of 252,806 death certificates listing diabetes as an underlying or contributing cause of death.2
As of March 2018, the cost of diabetes to the healthcare system was $327 billion in 2017, and the average medical expenditures among people with diagnosed diabetes were 2.3 times higher than what expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes.
These numbers are staggering—especially in a disease that in many cases can be prevented or treated without pharmaceutical intervention.
1. American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes—2007. Diabetes Care. 2007 Jan;30(suppl 1):S4-S41.
2. The Pharmacist & Patient Centered Diabetes Care; National Certificate Training Program. American Diabetes Association. Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2007;30:S4-S41.
3. American Diabetes Association. Healthy Food Choices Made Easy. Available at: https://www.diabetes.org/nutrition/healthy-food-choices-made-easy. Accessed 9/11/19.
4. American Dietetic Association, American Diabetes Association. Exchange Lists for Meal Planning. Chicago, IL, Alexandria, VA: American Dietetic Association, American Diabetes Association; 2003.
5. Thomas E. Survey reveals shortfall in pediatric nurses' knowledge of diabetes. J Diabetes Nurse. 2004;8:217-221.
6. Warshaw H, Bolderman K. Practical Carbohydrate Counting: A How to Teach Guide for Health Professionals. Alexandria, VA: American Diabetes Association; 2001.
7. Warshaw H, Kulkarni K. American Diabetes Association Complete Guide to Carbohydrate Counting. Alexandria, VA: American Diabetes Association; 2004.