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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

U.S.

Elizabeth Prann

Atlanta, GA

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CDC: 1/3 Population May Be Diabetic by 2050

October 22, 2010 - 1:27 PM | by: Elizabeth Prann

A Centers for Disease Control report released today estimates that as many as one in three American adults might have diabetes by the year 2050.  That’s a sharp increase compared to the current rate, which estimates one in 10 adults have the disease.

Type 2 diabetes, which is the most common, could be triggered by family history and race.  However, it is also caused by controllable factors, such as obesity and inactivity.

The director of the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation Ann Albright says there many reasons why the prevalence is expected to jump. First of all, people are living longer with diabetes due to good control of blood sugar and diabetes medications. She also says America is more diverse and this includes growing populations of minority groups such as African Americans and Hispanics, who are more at risk for the disease.  But she says the bottom line is that there is a rapid increase in the number of overweight Americans.

“These are alarming numbers that show how critical it is to change the course of type 2 diabetes,” said Albright. “Successful programs to improve lifestyle choices on healthy eating and physical activity must be made more widely available, because the stakes are too high and the personal toll too devastating to fail.”

CDC statistics show diabetes as the seventh leading cause of death in the United States,  costing us about $174 billion a year.

Bad News/Good News

But there was some good news coming from the CDC today.  The number of teen drivers in fatal crashes has dropped by about 30 percent.  That number is based on fatal crashes involving 16 and 17-year-old drivers.

Officials credit several factors for the gradual decline in fatal car crashes over the past five years, including safer cars with airbags, highway improvements and police crackdowns.  They also point to the push to stop texting while driving, as well as campaigns telling parents to spend more time teaching their teens how to drive.

“These trends show both how much progress we have made—and how much more we can make—to reduce motor vehicle crashes, which remain the number one cause of death for teens in the United States,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.

“This is a call to action to teen drivers, parents and communities. It’s not right that teens would lose their lives on U.S. roads when there are proven methods for helping teens be safer drivers.”

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