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Type 2 diabetes soars -- and Type 1s lash out

Type 2 diabetes is rising -- markedly -- in the United States, and it’s fueling more than just costs associated with treating the disease.

It’s also fueling a backlash among some Type 1 diabetics. They bristle at being lumped in with the “lifestyle” crowd. Type 2 diabetics, whose bodies don’t produce insulin efficiently, can often control their disease by changing their diet and exercise habits. Not so Type 1 diabetics, whose bodies are unable to produce insulin.

In terms of a price tag, an analysis released Tuesday by healthcare insurer UnitedHealth Group says costs associated with this disease could hit $3.35 trillion by 2020 if current trends continue and half of Americans are diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes.

“New estimates show diabetes and pre-diabetes will account for an estimated 10 percent of total health care spending by the end of the decade at an annual cost of almost $500 billion – up from an estimated $194 billion this year,” the study says in part. Read the full report here.

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Those are sobering statistics to consider. Currently 27 million Americans have diabetes and an additional 67 million are estimated to have pre-diabetes, according to the study. The report also points to lifestyle changes and early intervention that could control the disease in people with or on the brink of Type 2 diabetes, often brought on by age and obesity.

But that message is fueling anger among those who are insulin dependent with Type 1 diabetes.

Julie Deardorff explains in this Chicago Tribune story: “As rates of Type 2 diabetes soar, tempers are flaring in the diabetes blogosphere, where many people with Type 1 diabetes are lobbying for a new, distinct name for their condition in hopes of clearing up misconceptions and securing more resources to put toward a cure.”

Read more about the different types of diabetes and treatments at HealthKey.com.


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