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CDC: Diabetes rates to skyrocket in coming decades

According to a story in the Huffington Post, federal officials are warning of an “alarming” increase in diabetes rates, projecting that as many as one in three U.S. adults could have the condition by 2050 if current trends continue.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention already estimate that one in 10 Americans – about 24 million people — now have diabetes. According to the new estimate, that number may rise to 76 million to 100 million in the coming decades.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body has trouble processing sugar. The story says Type 2 diabetes, in which the body’s cells resist the hormone insulin’s attempts to transport sugar, accounts for 95 percent of cases. The rising rate of U.S. diabetes cases has been closely tied to escalating obesity rates, but that’s not the only factor.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently added warnings to the labels of widely used cholesterol drugs called statins, which include Pfizer Inc.’s Lipitor, warning that they may increase the risk of Type II diabetes. The new labels also warn that the drugs may raise blood sugar levels, and could cause memory loss.

The Huffington Post reports that diabetes was the nation’s seventh leading cause of death in 2007.

The CDC calculation accounts for people who have diabetes but are undiagnosed, which wasn’t figured into earlier estimates. Researchers also used new population growth estimates for the elderly and minorities, who have higher rates of Type 2 diabetes, he said.

And the story says the news isn’t universally bad. One of the factors in the rising rate is that diabetics are living longer because of improvements in medical care.

Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with a Lopez McHugh lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries.

See the story here: