October 31, 2013
3:13 p.m.

Subject: Retirement Readiness NOW Tip - National Diabetes Month

Fast Facts on Diabetes

*Diabetes affects 25.8 million people, 8.3% of the U.S. population, 18.8 million people have been diagnosed, and 7.0 million people are undiagnosed. *Among U.S. residents aged 65 years and older, 10.9 million, or 26.9%, had diabetes in 2010. *About 215,000 people younger than 20 years had diabetes (type 1 or type 2) in the United States in 2010. *About 1.9 million people aged 20 years or older were newly diagnosed with diabetes in 2010 in the United States. *In 2005-2008, based on fasting glucose or hemoglobin A1c levels, 35% of U.S. adults aged 20 years or older had prediabetes (50% of adults aged 65 years or older). Applying this percentage to the entire U.S. population in 2010 yields an estimated 79 million American adults aged 20 years or older with prediabetes. *Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, nontraumaticlower- limb amputations, and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States. *Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease and stroke. *Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

Prevention of Diabetes Complications

Glucose control

Studies in the United States and abroad have found that improved glycemic control benefits people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. In general, every percentage point drop in A1c blood test results (e.g., from 8.0% to 7.0%) can reduce the risk of microvascular complications (eye, kidney, and nerve diseases) by 40%. The absolute difference in risk may vary for certain subgroups of people. In patients with type 1 diabetes, intensive insulin therapy has long-term beneficial effects on the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Blood pressure control

Blood pressure control reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease (heart disease or stroke) among people with diabetes by 33% to 50%, and the risk of microvascular complications (eye, kidney, and nerve diseases) by approximately 33%. In general, for every 10 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure, the risk for any complication related to diabetes is reduced by 12%. No benefit of reducing systolic blood pressure below 140 mmHg has been demonstrated in randomized clinical trials. Reducing diastolic blood pressure from 90 mmHg to 80 mmHg in people with diabetes reduces the risk of major cardiovascular events by 50%.

Control of blood lipids

Improved control of LDL cholesterol can reduce cardiovascular complications by 20% to 50%.

Preventive care practices for eyes, feet, and kidneys

Detecting and treating diabetic eye disease with laser therapy can reduce the development of severe vision loss by an estimated 50% to 60%. About 65% of adults with diabetes and poor vision can be helped by appropriate eyeglasses. Comprehensive foot care programs, i.e., that include risk assessment, foot-care education and preventive therapy, treatment of foot problems, and referral to specialists, can reduce amputation rates by 45% to 85%.