CNN Health | November 23
Half of all Americans may be diabetic or prediabetic by 2020, a report from an insurance company warned Tuesday. That’s an even bleaker projection than the Centers for Disease Control’s recent estimate that one in three Americans would have diabetes by 2050.
Current rates show that about one in 10 Americans has diabetes, and the risks increase with age. Even children and teenagers are developing type 2 diabetes.
A report released this week by UnitedHealth Group showed that treating diabetes will also take up almost 10 percent of all health care spending. That 10-year price tag: $3.35 trillion.
Despite such gloomy projections, diabetes is not inevitable. Practical health changes can lower risk of type 2 diabetes, which occurs more commonly with aging and sedentary lifestyles. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease unrelated to aging or lifestyle.
Genetics, race and family history affect a person’s chances of developing diabetes, but you can take steps to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.
The most important thing: Lose weight
“The heavier we are, the tougher it is for our body,” said Dr. Armand Krikorian, who specializes in endocrinology and diabetes at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Ohio. “It has to make more insulin to keep the blood sugar under control.”