Diabetes is one of the biggest public health crises of our time.
Over 34 million Americans have diabetes, and over 88 million Americans have prediabetes – that is 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes and another 1 in 3 American adults have prediabetes, according to the CDC. And that’s just in the United States: globally, approximately 463 million adults are living with diabetes, and by 2045, more than 700 million adults in the world are projected to have diabetes.
As the seventh leading cause of death for people in the United States, diabetes poses a significant risk to public health, the healthcare system, and the economy. The United States spends $327 billion dollars annually on the direct and indirect costs of diabetes – which is equal to 1 in 7 healthcare dollars – and this upward trend is likely to continue.
Diabetes is also one of the most common risk factors for several other deadly and costly complications. In the United States, people with diabetes are twice as likely to have cardiovascular disease as people without diabetes, and diabetes is the leading cause of lower-limb amputations and adult blindness.
Moreover, diabetes disproportionately affects minority and marginalized populations. American Indians/Alaska Natives are twice as likely as whites to have diabetes, and African Americans and Hispanics are over 50% more likely. Asian Americans are also at increased risk of developing prediabetes and diabetes.
While proper nutrition and exercise can prevent or delay diabetes and its complications, we also need to change the environments and structures of society to allow every American the opportunity to either prevent diabetes or live a happy and healthy life with diabetes.
And that’s where diaTribe Change comes in: we advocate for legislation and policy reform that is in the best interest of people with diabetes. We want everyone with diabetes to be informed and have a voice in this fight. We all hold a stake in this epidemic, and it is in our power to reverse these trends.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes Quick Facts. 2019.
American Diabetes Association. Fast Facts - Data and Statistics About Diabetes. 2020.