The number of Americans with diabetes rose by more than 1 million in just one year from 2014-2015, placing the new high at 30.3 million, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC’s 2017 National Diabetes Statistics Report.
Those statistics seem doomed to worsen over time: Another 84 million—more than double the current numbers—have prediabetes, a condition where blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to meet the definition of diabetes. An additional 7.2 million may have the disease and not even know it.
Skilled nursing facilities will see significant impact on resident care from diabetes, since the likelihood for the disease increases with age. Currently, 25.2 percent of people age 65 or older have diabetes, the majority of which is Type 2. Almost half of seniors have prediabetes, the CDC report states.
People with diabetes are at significant risk for serious complications, especially kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, blindness and lower-limb amputations, the American Diabetes Association notes. Lifestyle changes, including healthy food choices, weight loss and exercise along with medication, can often reduce the risk for and delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Later onset of diabetes reduces the risk of complications, thus decreasing the lifelong impact.
Ethnic minorities tend to have higher diabetes rates, the CDC reports. The highest rates nationally were among American Indian/Alaska natives (+/-15 percent), followed by Black (12-13 percent), Hispanic (11.7-12.6 percent) and Asian races (7.3-9 percent). White women held the lowest rates in the nation at 6.8 percent.
The CDC report also paints an interesting picture regionally (based on 2013 data) with the highest prevalence of diabetes in the Deep South and Central regions of the country and lower rates in the West and upper Northeast.
|Source: CDC, United States Diabetes Surveillance System|