DRAMATIC INCREASE IN DIABETES

The rising tide of diabetes has an unacceptable human and societal toll. Rates of all major forms of diabetes are increasing at enormous individual and societal cost: 8.3 percent of the US population is afflicted today, and financial costs reached $174 billion for 2007. A major cause of blindness, renal failure, amputation, and cardiovascular disease, diabetes also increases the risk of cancer and dementia and more than doubles individual health care costs. Control of glucose, blood pressure, and lipids improves outcomes. Yet diabetes management is nonetheless suboptimal, particularly in disproportionately affected poor and minority populations. Safer, less burdensome, and more personalized approaches to therapy are needed. People at high risk for type 2 diabetes must be identified if society is to realize the benefits of therapies proven to delay or prevent the disease. We have many of the tools we need to address this challenge, and we must apply them now.

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