Even though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported a slowing rate of newly reported Type 2 diagnoses, a new UCLA study shows that prediabetes continues to grow as a public health concern.
In Spring 2016, CBS Evening News reported on a UCLA Center for Health Policy Research Policy Brief which revealed that 46 per cent of Californian adults register blood glucose levels setting them on track for developing Type 2 diabetes. That rate was higher among Californians who were socially and economically disadvantaged.
Susan Babbey, co-author of the UCLA brief, stated for the CBS story that the California numbers were surprisingly high. The overall prevalence,of prediabetes, according to the printed study, appears to grow substantially at later middle age. Of 18 to 39 year old Californians, 33.3 per cent have the condition; the rate grows to 60% by ages 55 to 69, and then drops slightly by age 70.
The press kit accompanying the UCLA brief opens with the warning that diabetes “is one of the most alarming epidemics facing California and a fundamental health equity issue. To prevent diabetes rates and diabetes-related costs from continuing to rise, coordinated and collective action is imperative, with a special focus on low-income communities and communities of color where the burden of diabetes and prediabetes is the greatest. “
Researchers argue that the state needs to increase its expenditure on diabetes prevention to that of other large states. California spends $0.03 per capita on diabetes prevention, and that money comes entirely from federal sources. New York, by contrast, spends $0.42 per capita. A tax on sugar or soft drinks is suggested as one means of revenue to support preventive education and clinical intervention.
Other measures recommended include requiring public and private insurors to cover lifestyle modification programs, and enacting state and local policies to reduce consumption of added sugars.
The researchers warn that the social and fiscal consequences of inaction in the face of the growing rate of prediabetes is too dire to ignore. You can view the complete CBS Evening News broadcast here.
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