Diabetes: A Skyrocketing Epidemic

In an article published on Forbes, our Chairman, President, and CEO Dr. John Lechleiter highlighted the real story of life-saving medical advances for people with diabetes, pointing out that “an advance that appears incremental or limited may in fact make a big difference.” A study from the New England Journal of Medicine that demonstrates the impact of medical advances provides additional support for these words of hope for the future of our fight against diabetes.

 Despite these discoveries, the diabetes epidemic continues to grow.  Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report showing that the number of people in the United States with diabetes has increased from 26 million in 2010 to more than 29 million people. Diabetes takes a heavy toll on patients and communities across the country, with an estimated $245 billion in total medical costs and lost work and wages in 2012.

 The need for action to effectively treat and prevent this chronic disease grows increasingly more pressing as the diabetes epidemic shows signs of continuing to snowball in the future. Today, 86 million American adults have prediabetes and an estimated 15 to 30 percent will develop Type 2 diabetes within five years. Projections show that by 2050 diabetes could affect one in three U.S. adults.

 As these numbers continue to skyrocket, the U.S. needs nationwide investment at all public, private, and government levels to tackle this epidemic. This costly disease can be combatted with new medical advances that simultaneously improve the lives of diabetes patients and reduce the economic costs:


 Our history links us closely to the fight against diabetes and addressing this continuously vexing problem continues to be a top priority for us. From encouraging Americans to find out their diabetes risk to advocating for legislators to take steps toward improving health policy, we remain committed to fighting diabetes. Together, we can work to prevent and cure this debilitating disease that affects so many millions of Americans.