Source: American Diabetes Association. The big step up. Accessed Nov. 12, 2021.

Disclosures: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.
November 24, 2021
3 min read

‘Diabetes epidemic will continue’ until focus shifts to prevention

Source: American Diabetes Association. The big step up. Accessed Nov. 12, 2021.

Disclosures: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.
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November is American Diabetes Month, a time to raise awareness about the importance of prevention, detection and management, according to the American Diabetes Association.

The CDC estimates that 34.5% of U.S. adults have prediabetes and 10.5% of all Americans have diabetes, making it the ninth-most common chronic disease in the country. Of those with diabetes, 21.4% have not been diagnosed with the condition.

An infographic that reads: According to the CDC, 34.5% of U.S. adults have prediabetes and 10.5% of all Americans have diabetes.
Reference: CDC

Diabetes also represents a financial burden in the U.S., with diagnosed diabetes costing about $327 billion in 2017, according to the American Diabetes Association.

A new study indicates there are “missed opportunities” for diabetes prevention in the U.S., researchers wrote in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Arch G. Mainous III, PhD, a professor in the department of health services research, management and policy at the University of Florida, and colleagues analyzed the electronic health records of 21,448 patients within a large health center who met the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force criteria for prediabetes screening between Aug. 1, 2019, and Oct. 31, 2020.

The researchers reported that 62.8% of patients were screened in a manner consistent with the USPSTF recommendations, and of those, 25.5% met the criteria for prediabetes. However, only 5.4% of patients in the latter group were formally diagnosed with prediabetes, and none of them “received appropriate treatment for their prediabetes,” the researchers wrote.

The results, which align with previous research, “suggest that the diabetes epidemic will continue,” Mainous said.

Arch G. Mainous III

“Although we have millions of people with prediabetes who are recommended to be screened and treated for diabetes prevention, in actual practice we are not doing a very good job of screening and treating them,” he said in an interview.

“Our goal should be to prevent diabetes, not just manage it after a patient develops it,” he added.

In conjunction with American Diabetes Month, Healio Primary Care recaps some of its most recent stories regarding prediabetes and diabetes.

USPSTF makes ‘huge’ change to prediabetes, diabetes screening recommendations for adults

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has published its final guidance on prediabetes and type 2 diabetes screening, lowering the recommended age in asymptomatic, nonpregnant adults who are overweight or obese to 35 years. Read more.

Shared medical appointments could have impact on prediabetes 'epidemic'

Patients with prediabetes who participated in shared medical appointments lost more weight and experienced greater reductions in HbA1C and BP levels than their counterparts who received usual care, a retrospective cohort study showed. Read more.

High-dose cinnamon may help control prediabetes blood glucose levels

Taking a cinnamon supplement may help to manage blood glucose levels and slow progression from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society. Read more.

‘Behaviorally enriched’ diabetes prevention program dramatically improves outcomes

Compared with CDC data, a diabetes prevention program tailored to commercial drivers increased course completion by sevenfold and doubled physical activity and weight loss measures, according to two speakers at the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists meeting. Read more.

Awareness of imminent diabetes diagnosis fails to change patients’ behavior

Adults who were aware of their prediabetes status were more likely than those who were unaware to report a perceived risk for diabetes, data show. However, the risk awareness was not associated with a meaningful difference in dietary or physical activity behaviors, according to researchers. Read more.

Women more likely to enroll in Diabetes Prevention Program focused on lifestyle change

Women are three times more likely than men to enroll in the national Diabetes Prevention Program, although once enrolled, men and women attend the same number of sessions, according to study data published in The Diabetes Educator. Read more.

Low-cost intervention nearly halves diabetes risk

A group-based intervention that cost $153 per participant reduced the 2-year risk for type 2 diabetes by up to 47%, according to results from a randomized clinical trial published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Read more.

Recent insulin advancements improve diabetes management

Recent technology advances that help guide insulin dosing based on pattern recognition have fundamentally changed diabetes management for both patients and providers, and more “smart” improvements are on the horizon, an expert said. Read more.

How traditional diets can improve diabetes care

Two experts discuss the benefits of whole grains and other cultural foods for people with diabetes. Read more.

Experts outline action plan to address global diabetes epidemic

The growing diabetes epidemic requires urgent actions to reduce disease burden worldwide, including new, team-based approaches and data-driven integrated care, according to an action plan published in The Lancet. Read more.


American Diabetes Association. The big step up. Accessed Nov. 12, 2021.

American Diabetes Association. The cost of diabetes. Accessed Nov. 12, 2021.

CDC. Chronic diseases in America. Accessed Nov. 12, 2021.

CDC. National diabetes statistics report. Accessed Nov. 12, 2021.

Mainous III AG, et al. Am J Prev Med. 2021;doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2021.06.018.