One of the most dangerous health conditions that exists in the developed world today is called diabetes mellitus. It comes in two standard types and causes the body to either not produce insulin or not respond as it should to the insulin it produces.
Over 29 million people in the United States are believed to be suffering from diabetes, which is 9.3% of the population.
Out of that figure, 21 million people have been formally diagnosed. This means there are over 8 million people who are living with diabetes and don’t realize it. 1 out of every 4 people with this health condition are undiagnosed. That’s why knowing these diabetes demographics is so important. If you fit into these risk factors or demographic data, then speak with your doctor about whether you may be one of the undiagnosed.
Who Is At Risk for Diabetes?
- About 54 million people in the US have higher than normal blood glucose levels that aren’t high enough to qualify for diabetes. This condition is known as “pre-diabetes.”
- 90% of the people with pre-diabetes don’t realize that their blood sugar levels are too high.
- 1 out of 3 adults is believe to have pre-diabetes.
- Without weight loss and moderate levels of physical activity, up to 30% of the people with pre-diabetes will be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes within the next 5 years.
- If someone has pre-diabetes, then eating healthy and being more active can cut a person’s risk of getting Type 2 diabetes by 50%.
When people are working sedentary jobs and then come home and are sedentary as well, they have a high risk of diabetes development because of their lack of movement. The human body was built to move and any exercise that is received will help to lower the risks of diabetes development. Healthy eating options that avoid high sugar foods or carbonated sugary beverages are also helpful. Developing diabetes is not anyone’s “fault,” but there are ways to take care of oneself that can limit the risks of become one of the 54 million with a pre-diabetic condition.
Diabetes in Specific Demographics
- Women pay nearly $1,000 more per year in health care costs when diabetes is a factor when compared to men [$8,331 vs $7,458].
- Total per-capita health care expenditures are lower among Hispanics [$5,930] and higher among non-Hispanic blacks [$9,540] than among non-Hispanic whites [$8,101].
- Compared to non-Hispanic Caucasians, per capita hospital inpatient costs are 41.3% higher among non-Hispanic blacks and 25.8% lower among Hispanics.
- California has the largest population with diabetes and thus the highest costs at $27.6 billion.
- Florida has the fourth highest population total, but the second highest diabetes-related health care costs at $18.9 billion annually.
- Type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of the disease, usually occurs in people who are 45 years of age or older.
- Many people with Type 2 diabetes will have no noticeable symptoms of their condition.
Diabetes can affect anyone, but it tends to be more prevalent in demographics where income levels are higher and movement levels are lower. It is beginning to affect developing nations as well, as nearly half of all new cases in some countries are occurring in children. Combined with a lack of awareness about this disease, health services which may be inefficient, or stubbornness about one’s health can lead to further health complications. That’s why early awareness of this health issue is so important.
The Many Costs of Diabetes
- $245 billion. That’s the total amount in medical costs and lost work/wages for people who have been diagnosed with either type of diabetes.
- The total estimated cost of medical treatments is $176 billion.
- The risk of death for adults with diabetes is 50% higher when compared to the general population without diabetes.
- People who are diagnosed with diabetes pay medical costs that average 2x higher that the medical costs of someone without diabetes.
- Diabetes increases the risks of other serious health complications, such as heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, stroke, and even the loss of toes, feet, or legs.
- 43% of the medical costs of treating diabetes comes from hospital inpatient care.
- When all cost categories are analyzed, diagnosed diabetes accounts for more than 20% of all money spent on health care costs in the United States.
- 62% of the costs of diabetes care is provided by government insurance.
- Total deaths from diabetes are projected to rise by more than 50% in the next 10 years. In upper-to-middle income countries, the death rates from diabetes is expected to increase by over 80%.
- 80% of diabetes deaths are now occurring in low- and middle-income countries.
- 75% of people with diabetes will die of either heart disease or a stroke and are more likely to die at a younger age from these conditions.
- Up to 24,000 people each year lose their eyesight because of diabetes, making it the leading cause of new blindness in the 20-74 age demographic.
The demographic at the greatest risk of a diabetes diagnosis are those without any health insurance. This demographic sees the doctor about 80% less, take nearly 70% fewer medications to control their blood sugar, and visit the emergency room at their local hospital 50% more often when compared to people who do have health insurance. Since 2007, the costs of treating diabetes has increased by 41%. If that rate continues, diabetes is going to dominate the US health care system.
Diabetes Demographics In The Future
- More than 18,000 children are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes each year. This is the type of diabetes where the body does not make enough insulin and it can develop at any age without a known method of preventing it from happening.
- Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5% of the diagnosed cases of diabetes each year.
- 1 out 3 people alive today in the developed work will develop Type 2 diabetes in their lifetime, but most of these cases can be prevented or delayed with proactive interventions.
- More than 5,000 children are diagnosed each year with Type 2 diabetes.
- 1.7 million people 20 and older are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes each year.
Now is the time to act in preventing diabetes. Simple actions like getting active and choosing healthier foods on a regular basis unlock the potential of risk reduction. Not every case of diabetes can be prevented or delayed, but there are actions we can all take to prevent this disease or manage it more effectively. Without change, diabetes is going to become a tremendous burden on the developed world. The diabetes demographics here prove that change is possible, but we must each act to make that change happen.