Diabetes Research

Whilst rates of diabetes have seen alarming increases over the previous decades, latest figures suggest that rates of diabetes may now have leveled off.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) used data from the National Health Interview Survey. The data included spanned the years 1980 to 2012 and involved nearly 665,000 participants.

The results showed that the rates of diabetes more than doubled between 1990 and 2008 but then plateaued between 2008 and 2012. The rate of diabetes incidence per hundred people was 3.5 in 1990, then leapt to 7.9 in 2008 and rose more gradually to 8.3 in 2012. Within certain subgroups, notably in Hispanic and non-Hispanic black populations, the rates of diabetes are still increasing.

Dr Ann Albright, one of the researchers commented on the leveling off of diabetes rates: “We’re encouraged by that but it also means that we need to continue to watch this and make sure it’s not just a blip, to make sure we can sustain this and ultimately reverse this trend.”

By far the most common form of diabetes is type 2 diabetes, which is usually, although not exclusively, brought on through obesity. The CDC reported, earlier in the year, that obesity rates have reached a stable level, of a third of adults being obese, since 2003. If rates of obesity start to decline, a reduction in diabetes rates may follow.