Diabetes complications in U.S. declining, diabetes cases still rise

By Kyle Johnson,

Though complications resulting from diabetes was shown in a recent report to be declining, cases of diabetes diagnosis are still on the rise.

A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine has shown a major decline in heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and amputation rates. Between 1990 and 2010, there was a 60 percent decline in complication rates, reports The New York Times.

Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center director Dr. David M. Nathan said, "This is the first really credible, reliable data that demonstrates that all of the efforts at reducing risk have paid off." He added, "Given that diabetes is the chronic epidemic of this millennium, this is a very important finding."

The study examined complications that arose from both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and found that they account for a yearly $176 billion in medical costs.

Though complication rates might be declining, cases of diabetes are still rising, according to Businessweek. In 1990, 6.5 million were diagnosed and by the last year studied, 2010, 20.7 million were diagnosed.

One of the study authors, Linda Geiss, chief of diabetes surveillance at the CDC, said, "Although we've seen a decline in the rates and we've come a long way in preventing the complications and improving the quality of life for people with diabetes, most of the numbers are still increasing."

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