Diabetes Prevalence Increased 25% in 25 Years

Dr. Andy Menke PhD Social & Scientific Systems Inc Silver Spring, MD 20910MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Andy Menke PhD
Social & Scientific Systems Inc
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Menke: Previous studies have shown an increase in diabetes over time. We wanted to use the most recent data available to estimate the prevalence and trends in diabetes in the US population. We found that 14% of US adults had diabetes and the prevalence was higher in blacks, Hispanics, and Asians. About 1 in 3 people with diabetes were unaware that they had the condition and this was even higher in Asians and Hispanics where half were unaware that they had it. Also, among US adults, 1 in 3 people have prediabetes, which means that roughly half of all US adults have either diabetes or prediabetes. Between 1988-1994 and 2011-2012, diabetes prevalence increased by 25% among adults in the US population. The increase over time occurred in every age group, race group, and both genders.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Menke: The prevalence of diabetes is high in the US, particularly in blacks, Asians, and Hispanics. Unfortunately, many people with diabetes are unaware of it. There are effective treatments, but those treatments are not useful to people who have not been diagnosed. Therefore, we need to better educate people on the risk factors for diabetes and improve screening for those at high risk. Patients and others at risk for diabetes can learn more about it from the National Diabetes Education Program at www.ndep.nih.gov.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Menke: One unique aspect of this study is that it is the first study with a large enough sample to estimate the prevalence of total diabetes among US Asians. We were surprised to find that the prevalence of diabetes is relatively high among US Asians with 1 in 5 having it despite having a lower BMI than other race/ethnicity groups. Also, half were undiagnosed, which may be due to less screening as a result of having a lower average BMI. Since this is a very heterogeneous group, further research is necessary to characterize the impact of diabetes on specific Asian subgroups in the US.


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Dr. Andy Menke PhD (2015). Diabetes Prevalence Increased 25% in 25 Years