United States diabetes patient numbers on decline

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Photo courtesy of MCT

Some new health plans are offering discounts for diabetes care. (Fotolia)

Eshika Kohli, Staff Writer

After many years of a nonstop rise in the number of diabetes cases in the United States, the numbers have finally started to come down. This decline has been the first in twenty-five years.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of new cases decreased by a fifth from 2008 to 2014.

One of the C.D.C.’s top diabetes researchers Edward Gregg told the “New York Times,” “It seems pretty clear that incidence rates have now actually started to drop.”

The drop in these numbers has been gradual for many years, yet has not been statistically meaningful. New data for 2014, released on Tues. Nov. 24 showed results from 2008 to 2014. In 2008, there were approximately 1.7 million new cases each year, down to 1.4 million cases in 2014.

Gregg said, “Initially it was a little surprising because I had become so used to seeing increases everywhere we looked.”

Type 2 diabetes (accounting for 90 percent to 95 percent of cases) is linked to obesity. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the US diet is improving, decreasing type 2 diabetes cases.

Director of the Diabetes Center and Clinical Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston Dr. David Nathan told the “New York Times,” “It’s not yet time to have a parade, but, it has finally entered into the consciousness of our population that the sedentary lifestyle is a real problem, and that increased body weight is a real problem.”

Compared to the rest of the world, the US is doing well with its reduction in these rates, and the US hopes to keep these permanent.