40 percent of Americans will develop diabetes: New study


About two in five Americans will develop type 2 diabetes at some point in their lives, according to the findings of a new study, which underscore the increasing need for evidence-based programs that help prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.


According to the study, published last week in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, the lifetime risk of diagnosed diabetes is 40.2 percent for the average 20-year old man, a 20 percentage point increase since the late 1980s. Among women, the lifetime risk is 39.6 percent, a 13 percentage point increase. Hispanic men and women and non-Hispanic black women have the highest lifetime risks at more than 50 percent.

The findings highlight the importance of screening patients for prediabetes to help them avoid becoming one of these statistics. People with prediabetes are at a heightened risk for developing type 2 diabetes, but it is a reversible condition. That means prevention measures are crucial.

The AMA has teamed up with the YMCA of the USA to increase physician screening for prediabetes and create a model for referring patients to YMCA Diabetes Prevention Programs in their local communities. Based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) evidence-based National Diabetes Prevention Program, the YMCA program has been proven to help patients reverse their prediabetes.

The partnership is part of the AMA’s Improving Health Outcomes initiative, which is working to prevent the development of diabetes and its associated health complications among adults who have prediabetes. The AMA pilot, currently in three states, will establish a process for physicians to routinely screen for prediabetes, refer patients to the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program and receive updates to incorporate into their patients’ care plans.

Visit the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program website to find out whether an evidence-based diabetes prevention program is available in your community.