WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Americans are 40% likely to develop type 2 diabetes during their life according to a new study, and its not hard to see why. As the American population continues to grow there is a constant trend in personal choices such as inactive lifestyles, unhealthy eating habits and growing waistlines that contribute to the cause of diabetes. Some minorities like African-American women and Hispanics have a 50% increased risk in developing type 2 diabetes.
The analysis, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, combined data from over 26 years worth of interviews and death certificates. From this information they were able to gather that the lifetime risk of diabetes for the average 20-year-old American rose between 1985 and 2011. For men the percentage rose from 20% to 40% and in women 27% to 39%.
In other words, two out of five Americans from the age of 20 are expected to develop type 2 diabetes during their life.
"Soaring rates of diabetes since the late 1980's and longer overall life expectancy in the general population have been the main drivers of the striking increase in lifetime risk of diabetes over the last 26 years," says Dr. Edward Gregg, study leader and Chief of the Epidemiology and Statistics Branch, Division of Diabetes Translation at the Centers for Disease Control and prevention.
"At the same time, a large reduction in death rates in the US population with diabetes has reduced the average number of years lost to the disease. However the overwhelming increase in diabetes prevalence has resulted in an almost 50% increase in the cumulative number of years of life lost to diabetes for the population ad a whole: years spent living with diabetes have increased by 156% in men and 70% in women."
Dr. Gregg believes that with longer life expectancy there will also be an increase and demand for health services and calls for some type of lifestyle intervention be introduced to reduce the risk of impending cases of diabetes in the USA.
The American Diabetes Association states that diabetes kills more Americans every year than aids and breast cancer combined. That alone is a call to action for primary prevention strategies.
The primary focus should be on children and families in order to create a change that may decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Preventionrecommends a active lifestyle with a combination of healthy eating habits and weight lose can to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
Monika Thomas, WUSA9