Thursday, November 25, 2010

Half of American Adults Headed for Diabetes by 2020, UnitedHealth Says

Half of all American adults are destined to develop diabetes or pre-diabetes by 2020 if they don't slim down, according to a dire new prediction that pegs the cost of their care at $3.35 billion by decade's ending.

Under the scenario, if present trends continue, the ranks of American adults with excessive blood sugar levels would swell from 93.8 million this year (about 28 million diabetics and 66 million more with pre-diabetes) to 135 million in 2020.

Sixty percent of the annual $500 billion burden of the obesity-driven diabetes epidemic would be borne by the U.S. government, according to "The United States of Diabetes," a provocative working paper produced by the Center for Health Reform & Modernization, part of the healthcare huge UnitedHealth Group Inc.

UnitedHealth issued the statement on the heels of an Oct. 22 forecast from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that as many as 1 in 3 adults could be diabetic by 2050. That's an enormous jump from present diabetes prevalence, which is 1 in 10 among adults.

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