Decline in Diabetes-Related Complications

Rates of five major diabetes-related complications have declined substantially in the last 25 years among U.S. adults with diabetes, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Rates of lower-limb amputation, end-stage kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and deaths due to high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) all declined. Cardiovascular complications and deaths from high blood sugar decreased by more than 60 percent each, while the rates of both strokes and lower extremity amputations – including upper and lower legs, ankles, feet, and toes – declined by about half. Rates for end-stage kidney failure fell by about 30 percent.

“These findings show that we have come a long way in preventing complications and improving quality of life for people with diabetes,” said Edward Gregg, Ph.D., a senior epidemiologist in the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation and lead author of the study. “While the declines in complications are good news, they are still high and will stay with us unless we can make substantial progress in preventing type 2 diabetes.”

Here are facts from the American Diabetes Association:

  • Nearly 26 million children and adults in US have diabetes
  • 70 million have pre-diabetes
  • As many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes in 2050 if present trends continue
  • Diabetes kills more Americans every year than AIDS and breast cancer combined

Hopefully, with the Affordable Care Act, those without insurance can get coverage for the necessary diabetes screening and treatment. If you have Type 1 or Type 2, there are a number of life insurance companies that will help you with the coverage you need as well. Your insurance specialist can help determine the best options and explain how the underwriting system works as well as work on the best rates available.

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