Diabetes Deaths Dropping – But is it Good News?

 glucoseMore than 8 percent of the American population currently suffers with diabetes, which is a disease that results when the pancreas either does not produce enough of the blood sugar regulating hormone insulin (type-2 diabetes), or it does not produce any insulin at all (type-1 diabetes).  The body requires insulin in order to transport excess glucose out of the blood stream and into fat, liver and muscles cells, and as a result, diabetics suffer from chronic high blood sugar levels.  There is currently no type-1 diabetes cure, however almost all type-2 diabetes sufferers can achieve a diabetes cure simply by making healthier lifestyle choices.

Is There a Diabetes Cure in Sight?

Diabetes is a very serious disorder that not only affects a person’s blood sugar levels; it also increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, and it reduces an individual’s lifespan by an average of ten years.    According to a new study published in the American Diabetes Association journal, there is some good news and some bad news when it comes to the current diabetes epidemic. The good news is that the cardiovascular disease mortality rate amongst diabetic adults dropped by 40 percent between 1997 and 2004, according to data collected on 250,000 adults, during a National Health Interview Survey.  In addition, the total diabetes related death rate dropped by 44 percent.


The researchers credit advances in blood glucose control, early detection techniques, a reduction in smoking, overall healthier lifestyle choices and intervention programs for the decrease in diabetes related deaths.  Despite this encouraging finding, Ann Albright, director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation warned in a press release “Taking care of your heart through healthy lifestyle choices is making a difference, but Americans continue to die from a disease that can be prevented. Although the cardiovascular disease death rate for people with diabetes has dropped, it is still twice as high as for adults without diabetes.”

Now For the Bad News About Diabetes.

Now onto the bad news–despite the improved life expectancy amongst diabetic individuals, the prevalence of diabetes is predicted to rise substantially over the next few decades and it is estimated that by the year 2050, one in three Americans will suffer from this blood sugar regulating disorder.  “Death rates, along with earlier detection of undiagnosed diabetes and incidence of new diabetes cases, are the principal determinants of future diabetes prevalence and the disease and economic burden that follow,” states chief of epidemiology and statistics in CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation and lead author, Edward W. Gregg, PhD.  “Recently published models indicate that declining mortality among people with diabetes can lead to a substantial increase in prevalence.”  In other words, as the consequences of diabetes declines, its prevalence increases.

Diabetes currently costs 174 billion dollars annually, and if an effective diabetes cure is not produced, or the development of diabetes is not curtailed, the blood glucose disorder will cause dire economic consequences. Waiting for a miraculous diabetes cure is not the answer; we need to proactively prevent this disorder by increasing diabetes knowledge, eating healthier and exercising more. “Diabetes carries significant personal and financial costs for individuals, their families, and the health care systems that treat them. As the number of people with diabetes increases, it will be more important than ever to manage the disease to reduce complications and premature deaths,” states Gregg.