November is "Diabetes Awareness Month". It is a great time to remember to have your annual diabetic foot examination. It is also important for all people to stop and think about this serious disease. We frequently ignore the epidemic of diabetes instead concentrating our time and resources to many other diseases such as cancer and AIDS. Here are some sad yet true facts on diabetes
- Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.
- Another 79 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
- Recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take steps to Stop Diabetes. The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for people without diabetes.
- About 60-70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nerve damage that could result in pain in the feet or hands, slowed digestion, sexual dysfunction and other nerve problems.
- The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion.
- One in 10 health care dollars is spent treating diabetes and its complications.
- One in five health care dollars is spent caring for people with diabetes.
- Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in American. This number is believed to be much higher but diabetes is frequently underreported in listing the cause of death.
- Overall, the risk for death among people with diabetes is about twice that of people of similar age but without diabetes.
For more information on diabetes, please refer to the American Diabetes Association's website or Nebraska Diabetes Prevention and Control Program's website. One can also find the current state recommendations for diabetes managment for information on prevention and treatment programs which was developed by a panel of medical experts including Dr. Robert Greenhagen.