No Sugar Coating New Diabetes Study (Climate of Health)

The headline in the LA Times reads: “Diabetes nation? Half of Americans have diabetes of pre-diabetes.’ The story is based on a recent JAMA study that claims nearly 50% of adults living in the U.S. have diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Forbes Magazine calls it: “A national wake up call to intensify efforts to control the obesity crisis with added focus on diet, exercise and monitoring blood sugar.” According to a report in Reuters, diabetes in the US has increased nearly ten percent since the early 90’s….yet over a third of cases still go undiagnosed.

The numbers sound pretty scary – but JAMA’s research also shows that the prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes seems to be leveling off after two decades of increase. However, the study did uncover a few specific concerns. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) wrote:

“More than half of Asian Americans and nearly half of Hispanic Americans with diabetes are undiagnosed. Asian Americans…..have the highest proportion of diabetes that was undiagnosed among all ethnic and racial subgroups studied, at 51 percent. Hispanic Americans had the highest prevalence of diabetes at nearly 23 percent, with 49 percent of that undiagnosed.”

The good news in all this is that diabetes is not growing as quickly as it was a few years ago. Recent campaigns focused on healthy eating and physical activity seem to be helping. But, as two University of Michigan researchers wrote in a paper that accompanied the JAMA report, ‘it’s clear that “sustained efforts will be required.” And that’s another reason why our vision of making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation is so important.


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