Forty percent of Americans expected to develop type 2 diabetes during lifetime, major study says
A 26-year study found 40 percent of American adults are expected to develop type 2 diabetes at some point during their lives - and the statistics are worse for ethnic minorities.
According to study author Dr. Edward Gregg, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, longer life expectancy combined with "soaring" diabetes rates since the late 1980s can explain the increased risk.
He notes that years spent living with diabetes have increased by 70 percent in women and 156 percent in men over the past 26 years.
Largest increases in Hispanic men and women, non-Hispanic black women
The study included data on a nationally representative sample of 600,00 adults. The goal was to find trends of years lost to diabetes and lifetime risk of the disease.
For the average American 20-year-old, risk of developing type 2 diabetes increased from 20 to 40 percent in men and 27 to 39 percent in women between 2000 and 2011.
"The largest increases were in Hispanic men and women, and non-Hispanic black women, for whom lifetime risk now exceeds 50 percent," a press release issued on the study stated.
In a commentary, Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe from Women's College Hospital and the University of Toronto said that population-based approaches are urgently needed to prevent the increase of type 2 diabetes cases.
"Prevention strategies should include optimization of urban planning, food-marketing policies, and work and school environments that enable individuals to make healthier lifestyle choices," she said. "With an increased focus on interventions aimed at children and their families, there might still be time to change the fate of our future generations by lowering their risk of type 2 diabetes."
The study is published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal.
Source: The Lancet