Health and Wellness

CDC Calls Diabetes a ‘Growing Health Problem’

A new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that 9.4 percent of the population is living with diabetes. Another 84 million have prediabetes, a condition that often leads to type 2 diabetes within 5 years if not treated. The CDC says the rate of new cases remains steady, but cautions that, “the disease continues to represent a growing health problem.” In 2015, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

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People with diabetes either don’t make enough insulin or can’t use insulin properly. As a result, blood sugar builds up. Those with the condition are at risk for serious health complications including premature death, heart disease, stroke, vision loss, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputation. Diabetes can often be managed through physical activity, diet, and the appropriate use of insulin and other medications to control blood sugar levels.

Commented CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, “More than a third of U.S. adults have prediabetes, and the majority don’t know it. Now more than ever, we must step up our efforts to reduce the burden of this serious disease.”

Among other findings of the report:

  • Nearly 1 in 4 adults living with diabetes didn’t know they had it.
  • Rates of diagnosed diabetes increased with age.
  • More men than women had prediabetes.

Create a Diabetes-Fighting Workplace

The Kaiser Family Foundation and the American Diabetes Association estimate that for a company with 1,000 employees, 120 have diabetes and 370 have prediabetes. The good news is that interventions like losing weight and exercising moderately most days of the week can help those with prediabetes reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by nearly 60 percent.

Joseph DiBella, executive vice president at the risk management firm Conner Strong & Buckelew, recommends workplace diabetes programs that:

  • Focus on weight loss through wellness programs, walking clubs, and by offering healthier foods.
  • Focus on health by providing condition screenings, health coaching services, and education and awareness programs.

Learn more at, the website of the American Diabetes Association.