The Cost of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease for nearly all people - for them, it is a choice to be fat, sedentary, and overfed, and thereby risk damaging consequences to long-term health. The costs are becoming well enumerated: "Despite medical advances enabling those with diabetes to live longer today than in the past, a 50-year-old with the disease still can expect to live 8.5 years fewer years, on average, than a 50-year-old without the disease. ... The analysis - based on data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) - found that older adults with diabetes have a lower life expectancy at every age than those without the disease. At age 60, for example, the difference in life expectancy is 5.4 years. By age 90, the difference is one year. ... the figures show a marked increase in the percentage of adults over age 50 with diabetes during the past decade: from 11 percent of non-Hispanic whites in 1998 to 18 percent in 2008, and from 22 percent of non-Hispanic blacks in 1998 to 32 percent in 2008. The report [also] found that, compared to older adults without diabetes, those with the disease are less likely to be employed and more likely to have other health problems, such as heart disease, depression, and disabilities that interfere with normal life activities. ... Diabetes currently afflicts 7.8 percent of the total U.S. population - 23.6 million people, including 5.7 million undiagnosed - but almost a quarter (23.1 percent) of individuals age 60 or older (12.2 million people)."



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