The Diabetes Pandemic

For most people, the term pandemic conjures up horrible images of over 100 million people dying from the Bubonic Plague of the 1300s.  Similarly, the Spanish Flu of 1918 killed countless millions.  Yet, few of us realize the world is currently under attack by a modern day pandemic: Type 2 Diabetes.  

Diabetes is an epidemic in the United States affecting amost 30 million people and growing  (American Diabetes Association).  Globally,  we are dealing with a pandemic. The World Health Organization predicts that one in 10 people globally will have diabetes by 2040.  There are hundreds of millions of people worldwide living and suffering with the complications of diabetes.  

Many of the people affected by diabetes are in the workforce.  There are countless hours of lost productivity and countless dollars lost due to improperly managed diabetes.  However, much of the pain and suffering associated with the complications of diabetes is preventable.   Additionally, while Type 1 Diabetes is often difficult to predict and difficult to prevent, Type 2 Diabetes is very predictable and very preventable.    From a public health perspective, the  Type 2 Diabetes pandemic is very much connected to the obesity pandemic.  Programs such as  HealthyPeople2020 have been rolled out to try and neutralize these "twin pandemics" and their associated morbidity and mortality.   There are also numerous informational and self-help books written on diabetes.  The Standards of Medical Care In Diabetes is published annually by the American Diabetes Association and is a very useful publication.