New Diabetes Cases Begin to Fall in the US

Today the NY Times is reporting that “New Diabetes Cases, at Long Last, Begin to Fall in the United States.” This on the same day as the IDF is releasing its Diabetes Atlas, 7th edition, which says that worldwide the diabetes epidemic continues unabated.

Okay, so the NY Times article is based on one year’s data. And the Diabetes Atlas is gazing in a crystal ball. But which is it? Time for cautious hope? Or time of redoubling our efforts to stop the spread of diabetes?

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the paleo /ancestral health/gluten-free movement might have contributed to lowering carb consumption in a significant portion of the population that might have shown up with diabetes. i went paleo (no legumes, grains, starchy vegetables with weight-lifting and sprints) in 2009. before that my a1c was 5.9. now it is 5.3 to 5.5 and i have the genetics for diabetes. when i was 5.9 i was eating a ‘healthy’ diet with lots of whole grains that made me hungry 2 hours later, plus I was working out at the gym 1 hour a day 5 days a week on the treadmill/elliptical. my bg levels were probably higher than 5.9 earlier in my life as i had a yeast infection when i was pregnant with my second child and another infection happened when she was 3. i was much heavier at that time as well. this year my sister had an A1c of 6.2. i may have had the same this year if i hadn’t changed my ways in 2009.

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I think then USA is becoming generally more conscientious of how we eat in general and maybe we are starting to see some gains from that on this front… Maybe not specifically attributable to one diet vs another, but to the macro trends of not eating as much junk and drinking sodas etc

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I want to think that bringing awareness of diabetes to a broader audience – outreach like DHF does, for example – has educated more people and made them more aware of how small changes can help. I’m curious did the article include pre-diabetes in the statistics?

Looks like the CDC stats lumped T1 & T2 diagnosis together. You can see the chart here:

Pre-diabetes wasn’t discussed separately in the NY Times article.

I’ve often thought that the “prediabetes” stats probably significantly muddy the waters when trying to compare historical trends

I think the exclusion of pre-diabetes from formal statistics is a mistake. Don’t most people given the pre-diabetes diagnosis receive a subsequent diabetes diagnosis? While clinicians label a serious situation with a euphemistic spin, the patient fail to take it seriously. Shouldn’t pre-diabetes really be called diabetes?

The other side of the coin is that it’s a relatively new concept— I don’t think 30 years ago there were a whole lot of “pre diabetics” running around were there? So when comparing historical trends it does interject a conflict I think…

Of course there were people who would now meet that criteria in the past, but I don’t think the widespread diagnosis of prediabetes started until more recent history…

I think when tidy statistical historical comparisons compete with the possibility of positively affecting the health of millions of people, public health should prevail. We’ve witnessed plenty of anecdotal evidence here when people take aggressive early actions and bend their future health onto a better path. By the time many T2Ds receive the “official” diagnosis, they are well on their way to secondary complications.

I was a slow-onset adult T1D. I could have been diagnosed up to two years before I was. Looking back, I think I could have slowed down the diabetes progression and minimized the cumulative hyperglycemia that I suffered before I knew what was going on. I had symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy in the first or second year after my formal diagnosis. I think I could have mitigated those symptoms.

I’m not saying they don’t count terry or that they shouldn’t be diagnosed early and aggressive action taken… I’m just saying that the recent trend of diagnosing prediabetes does likely skew the historical trend of only diagnosing “full blown diabetes” when analyzing the number of cases of diabetes onset… It’s a mathematical concept not a philosophical one

I got your point, Sam. If the new statistics included pre-diabetes in the diabetes count, comparative statistics would be skewed.