The November 2020 UPMC Western Maryland Population Health initiative is diabetes


According to the 2020 National Diabetes Statistics Report released by the Center for Disease Control’s Division of Diabetes Translation, more people are developing type 1 and type 2 diabetes during youth, and racial and ethnic minorities continue to develop type 2 diabetes at higher rates. Likewise, the proportion of older people in our nation is increasing, and older people are more likely to have a chronic disease like diabetes. By addressing diabetes, many other related health problems can be prevented or delayed.

Key findings include:

· 34.2 million Americans—just over 1 in 10—have diabetes.

· 88 million American adults—approximately 1 in 3—have prediabetes.

· New diabetes cases were higher among non-Hispanic blacks and people of Hispanic origin than non-Hispanic Asians and non-Hispanic whites.

· For adults diagnosed with diabetes:

  • New cases significantly decreased from 2008 through 2018.
  • The percentage of existing cases was highest among American Indians/Alaska Natives.
  • 15% were smokers, 89% were overweight, and 38% were physically inactive.
  • 37% had chronic kidney disease (stages 1 through 4); and fewer than 25% with moderate to severe chronic kidney disease (stage 3 or 4) were aware of their condition.

· New diagnosed cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes have significantly increased among US youth.

· For ages 10 to 19 years, incidence of type 2 diabetes remained stable among non-Hispanic whites and increased for all others, especially non-Hispanic blacks.

· The percentage of adults with prediabetes who were aware they had the condition doubled between 2005 and 2016, but most continue to be unaware.

In Maryland, 10.5 percent of adults have diabetes (nearly 500,000) and 34 percent have prediabetes (approximately 1.6 million). Maryland is consistently one of the 25 states with the highest diabetes prevalence rates.

Diabetes is a chronic disease occurring when a person’s blood glucose level is too high due to the body’s inability to properly absorb glucose. Prediabetes refers to the condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diabetes. Diabetes often leads to other diseases and serious disabilities. About 95 percent of diabetes in the United States is type 2, which is preventable. Being overweight or obese is the most significant contributing factor in developing the disease.

Great efforts are being taken to reverse the epidemic by helping to identify people with prediabetes, prevent type 2 diabetes and diabetes complications, and improve the health of all people with diabetes. Those efforts include:

· The National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) provides the framework for type 2 diabetes prevention efforts in the United States. Through the National DPP’s evidence-based, affordable lifestyle change program, adults with prediabetes learn to make healthy changes that can cut their risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 58% (71% for those over 60 years). More than 1,500 CDC-recognized organizations offer the National DPP lifestyle change program, and more than 400,000 eligible people have participated. Approximately 40 commercial health plans provide some coverage for the program, and Medicare began reimbursing for CDC-recognized in-person programs in 2018.

· To prevent serious and costly diabetes complications, states are working to improve access to diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES), with an emphasis on DSMES programs that meet national quality standards.

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