11.07.2022 | Forbes
By Steve Brozak
This winter, the United States is facing the “Perfect Storm” of COVID, flu and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). While the White House, HHS, FDA, and a host of governmental agencies focus on this immediate threat, they also are preparing for the next pathogen attack.
The surges in flu and RSV tend to be seasonal with abatement coming in the spring while fighting Covid-19 will remain an ongoing battle. As great as all these threats may be, there looms an even greater challenge that demands equal, if not more, attention – Diabetes.
On October 31, the White House declared this to be National Diabetes Month. You can be forgiven if you did not know that such a designation exists, but be slow to put this in the category of National Barbecue Day (May 16) because it is a safe bet that you already know someone who has diabetes since over 11% of the US population is known to be diabetic; that translates into 37,300,000 people. Compounding the problem are the estimated 8,500,000 people who have diabetes but remain undiagnosed.
Next consider the costs diabetic patients bear. People with diagnosed diabetes incur average medical expenditures of $16,752 per year, of which about $9,601 is attributed to diabetes. On average, people with diagnosed diabetes have medical expenditures approximately 2.3 times higher than those without diabetes.
Pre-diabetes, as the name suggests, is the clinical condition characterized by slightly elevated blood glucose levels that, without lifestyle changes, puts a person at risk of progressing to Type 2 diabetes. The CDC estimates that 96,000,000 adults (38% of the population) in the United States are pre-diabetic and 80% of them do not know that they have it!
Imagine the social and economic consequences when one half of the adult US population develops diabetes. At the rate of 1.5 million new cases per year, it is not a question of if, it is simply a question of when. (I suspect there is a Hedge Fund modeling computer somewhere using an algorithm that has calculated when we will reach that milestone.)
If we hope to halt, or at least slow, the insidious progression of diabetes, we need a simple tool – Information.
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