CDC Reports Dramatic Increase in Diabetes Cases--November 2008

November 6, 2008
Lauren Green

The government has found that new cases of diabetes rose by more than 90% among adults over the last 10 years; helping patients prevent and manage this disease is a top priority for pharmacists.

New diabetes cases among adults increased by more than 90% in the last decade, according to a study recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Cases rose from 4.8 per 1000 people during 1995-1997 to 9.1 per 1000 in 2005-2007 in 33 states.

State-specific, age-adjusted estimates of new cases of diabetes ranged from 5 per 1000 in Minnesota to 12.7 per 1000 in West Virginia. States with the highest age-adjusted incidence were predominantly in the South. Overall, 23.6 million people in the United States have diabetes, or 8% of the population, according to the American Diabetes Association.

“This dramatic increase in the number of people with diabetes highlights the increasing burden of diabetes across the country,” said the study’s lead author Karen Kirtland, PhD. “We must step up efforts to prevent and control diabetes, particularly in the southern region, where we see higher rates of diabetes, obesity, and physical inactivity.”

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and as the prevalence of diabetes rises at an alarming rate, pharmacists are playing a critical role in helping patients manage the disease through an array of patient care services—ranging from monitoring medications and blood glucose levels, to nutrition counseling and choosing OTC products.

“Diabetes is a serious disease but one that can be managed through proper patient education and monitoring,” said William Ellis, chief executive officer of the American Pharmacists Association Foundation. “Through a collaborative health care team approach, pharmacists can help patients understand the importance of eating well, exercising regularly, and taking their medications as prescribed so they can live longer, healthier lives.”

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

The CDC is available at www.cdc.gov/mmwr.

For other articles in this issue, see:

Pharmacists Held in High Regard, Survey Says

Price, Value Key in OTC Medication

Personalized Medicine: Tailoring Drug Therapy to Genes

Avandia Comes Under Fire, GSK Responds