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News & Press: Other News

The Diabetes Epidemic: Opportunities and Missed Opportunities

Monday, November 5, 2018   (0 Comments)
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One in 3 adults in the United States, about 100 million people, are living with diabetes or prediabetes, according to the CDC. Another case is diagnosed every 21 seconds. The American Diabetes Association estimates the total cost of diagnosed diabetes, including lost productivity, reached $327 billion in 2017, a big jump from $245 billion just five years earlier. That’s roughly one-tenth of the astronomical $3.5 trillion in annual U.S. health expenditures. People with diabetes are at risk for other chronic conditions such as heart disease, as well as dangerous conditions including stroke, amputation, kidney failure and blindness. The challenge is finding ways of preventing diabetes when possible and managing it optimally when prevention fails.

POLITICO recently convened a working group of policymakers, researchers, clinicians and experts to explore the growing diabetes crisis, and identify challenges, gaps and solutions. Participants included researchers from the National Institutes of Health, PCORI, congressional staff and academic experts, as well as health care providers ranging from endocrinologists to pharmacists and community health workers. In an on-the-record discussion moderated by POLITICO’s executive editor for health care, Joanne Kenen, the group found areas of broad consensus on policy priorities, the research agenda – and the alarming magnitude of the problem. The conversation mostly focused on Type 2 diabetes, particularly regarding prevention, although some aspects of the discussion particularly surrounding disease management and care coordination apply as well to Type 1. The conversation was held under Chatham House rules. It was on the record, to encourage a free and frank conversation, but comments were not attributed to individual participants. They are listed at the end of this report.

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