(BPT) – Every 17 seconds someone in the United States is diagnosed with diabetes. What’s even more surprising is diabetes is growing fastest among younger people, outpacing the rate of heart disease, substance abuse and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
A new study by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) shows that the impact of diabetes continues to grow and is increasing most rapidly among those age 18 through 34. The 4.7 percent growth in diabetes impact for younger adults from 2013 through 2015 corresponds to this age group’s spike in obesity rates, a key contributor to the onset of diabetes.
Diabetes ranks third in terms of its health impact nationally on quality of life and cost for the commercially insured population among the more than 200 conditions measured by the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Health Index. The “health impact” of a specific condition reflects the prevalence and severity for that condition as well as the years of life lost due to disability and risk of premature death.
The report, “Diabetes and the Commercially Insured U.S. Population,” represents an analysis of the BCBS Health Index data on diabetes, which leverages the claims of more than 40 million BCBS members.
Younger people may not be as focused on their health and many may not be aware they are at risk for diabetes at their age. The first step is to understand the risk and the next step is to take action. Type 2 diabetes is preventable with thoughtful, proactive measures.
According to the American Diabetes Association, there are many ways to lower your risk of developing diabetes, including: