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Diabetes May Be on the Rise Posted: January 6th, 2010

By Sanford Ellowitz

Sanford Ellowitz is a New York State licensed insurance agent. He is also a Certified Financial Planner and a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist. He has over 25 years experience in the insurance and financial services industries.

The number of those with the chronic disease diabetes may be on the rise. The cost to treat those with diabetes is set to increase as well. Lifestyle changes may prevent you, or someone in your family, from getting the disease.

Diabetes May Be on the Rise

A December 2009 report, published in Diabetes Care, predicts that the number of diabetics should nearly double to 44 million over the next 25 years.

Dramatic Rise in Costs

The effect on health care costs could be huge if this occurs. Such an increase in the number of those with diabetes has the potential to triple today's costs--the estimated increase could reach $336 billion.

Early Intervention Can Help Lower Costs

Preventive programs can result in lower spending on complications like kidney disease, heart attack and blindness. However, preventative treatment works best when started during the younger years.

The author of the study, Michael O'Grady, said that, "If you wait until people have been diabetic for 25 years and then try and turn it around, it's very difficult. And the cost is higher."

Controlling Weight

Researchers have found that controlling weight is of utmost importance. Dr. Judith Fradkin, an endocrinologist at the National Institutes of Health, said that losing an average of 15 pounds may reduce the risk of getting type 2 diabetes by 58% over three years.

Americans Are Getting Heavier

Even though weight control is important, Americans are getting heavier rather than thinner.

A study by the New England Journal of Medicine looked at previous national health surveys to forecast life expectancy, and quality of life for a typical 18 year old from 2005 through 2020. It forecasts that the life expectancy for a typical 18 year old would be reduced by 1.02 years due to an increased body mass index (BMI).

BMI is the measure of weight in relation to height. Those with a BMI greater than 25 are considered overweight, and those with a BMI greater than 30 are considered obese.

The increase in BMI more than wipes out the decline in smoking over the last 15 years, which would increase life expectancy by 0.31 years.

Coverage in Your State

Laws in 46 states and the District of Columbia require private health insurance coverage, or offerings for people with diabetes. If you are not presently covered by health insurance and are diabetic, find out if coverage is mandated in your state. Then go online, where you can get health insurance quotes.

Sanford Ellowitz