Guest Blog: Diabetes: Addressing Prevalence, Promoting Prevention by Deepak Patel, Pharm.D., Novo Nordisk, Medical Liaison – Managed Markets

Recent CDC data suggest that a staggering 40 percent of Americans are expected to develop type 2 diabetes during adulthood. Estimates are even higher for certain minority groups, at 50% for black women and for Hispanic men and women.

Fast Facts on Diabetes

29.1 million people or 9.3% of the U.S. population have diabetes

Diagnosed: 21.0 million people

Undiagnosed: 8.1 million people
(27.8% of people with diabetes are undiagnosed)

All ages, 2012

One of the gratifying parts of my job is raising awareness about the prevalence of diabetes and promoting prevention. On November 13, I will be presenting at the diabetes employer summit at the Mall of America titled “Diabetes in the Workplace: Taking Action to Improve Health and Lower Costs.”

One of the things I will focus on is the National Diabetes Prevention Program. This public-private partnership of community organizations, private insurers, health care organizations, employers, and government agencies is establishing local evidence-based lifestyle change programs for people at high risk for type 2 diabetes. I will also help attendees understand how diabetes is affecting Minnesota, and how they can adopt readily available tools and resources to help their employees lead healthier lives.

I am proud that my employer highly values diabetes education, making a large library of materials available to all at no cost. Here are just a few links to pages patients tell us have helped ease the worry and stress that is often associated with diabetes:

Estimated Diabetes Costs in the U.S., 2012

Total (direct and indirect)
$245 billion

Direct Medical Costs
$176 billion
After adjusting for population age and sex differences, average medical expenditures among people diagnosed with diabetes were 2.3 times higher than people without diabetes.

Indirect Costs
$69 billion
(Disability, work loss, premature death)

Diagnosed and Undiagnosed Diabetes Among U.S. Adults Age 20 and Older

Number with diabetes (millions) Percentage with diabetes (unadjusted)
20 years or older 28.9 12.3
20-44 4.3 4.1
45-64 13.4 16.2
65 years or older 11.2 25.9
Men 15.5 13.6
Women 13.4 11.2

Source: 2009-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination