Heart Disease, Stroke Deaths Drop for People with Diabetes: Often Seniors
Healthier lifestyles, better disease management are helping people live longer; Among U.S. seniors 65 and older, 10.9
million, or 26.9% had diabetes in 2010.
2012 - Death rates for people with diabetes dropped substantially from 1997 to 2006, especially deaths related to heart disease and stroke,
according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. It is encouraging news for
senior citizens, the most common victims of type 2 diabetes.
Deaths from all causes declined by 23 percent, and deaths related to heart disease and stroke dropped by 40 percent,
according to the study published yesterday in the journal Diabetes Care.
Scientists evaluated 1997-2004 National Health Interview Survey data from nearly 250,000 adults who were linked to the
National Death Index. Although adults with diabetes still are more likely to die younger than those who do not have the disease, the gap is
Improved medical treatment for cardiovascular disease, better management of diabetes, and some healthy lifestyle changes
contributed to the decline. People with diabetes were less likely to smoke and more likely to be physically active than in the past. Better
control of high blood pressure and high cholesterol also may have contributed to improved health. However, obesity levels among people with
diabetes continued to increase.
“Taking care of your heart through healthy lifestyle choices is making a difference, but Americans continue to die from a
disease that can be prevented,” said Ann Albright, Ph.D., R.D., director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation.
“Although the cardiovascular disease death rate for people with diabetes has dropped, it is still twice as high as for
adults without diabetes.”
Previous studies have found that rates of heart disease and stroke are declining for all U.S. adults. Those rates are
dropping faster for people with diabetes compared to adults without diabetes. Recent CDC studies also have found declining rates of kidney
failure, amputation of feet and legs, and hospitalization for heart disease and stroke among people with diabetes.
People getting diabetes still climbing
Because people with diabetes are living longer and the rate of new cases being diagnosed is increasing, scientists expect
the total number of people with the disease will continue to rise. The number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled since
1980, primarily due to type 2 diabetes, which is closely linked to a rise in obesity, inactivity and older age.
CDC estimates that 25.8 million Americans have diabetes, and 7 million of them do not know they have the disease.
CDC and its partners are working on a variety of initiatives to prevent type 2 diabetes and to reduce its complications.
CDC leads the National Diabetes Prevention Program, a public-private partnership designed to bring evidence-based programs for preventing type
2 diabetes to communities. The program supports establishing a network of lifestyle-change classes for overweight or obese people at high risk
of developing type 2 diabetes.
“Diabetes carries significant personal and financial costs for individuals, their families, and the health care systems
that treat them,” said Edward W. Gregg, Ph.D., the study’s lead author and chief of epidemiology and statistics in CDC’s Division of Diabetes
“As the number of people with diabetes increases, it will be more important than ever to manage the disease to reduce
complications and premature deaths.”
Controlling levels of blood sugar (glucose), cholesterol and blood pressure helps people with diabetes reduce the chance
of developing serious complications, including heart disease, stroke, blindness and kidney disease.
In 2001, the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), a joint effort of CDC and NIH with the support of more than 200
partners, developed a campaign to raise awareness of the link between diabetes and heart disease and reinforce the importance of a
comprehensive diabetes care plan that focuses on the ABCs of diabetes – A1C (a measure of blood glucose control over a two- to three-month
period), Blood pressure and Cholesterol.
Part of joint Million Heart initiative with CDC; Senior citizens and others get Medicare help in fighting number one killer
Nov. 9, 2011
Last year CDC and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services launched Million Hearts, an initiative to prevent 1
million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years. The initiative focuses on two main goals: empowering Americans to make healthy
choices and improving care for people, focusing on aspirin for people at risk, blood pressure control, cholesterol management and smoking
More than 2 million heart attacks and strokes occur every year, and treatment for these conditions and other vascular
diseases account for about 1 of every 6 health care dollars. Up to 20 percent of deaths from heart attack and 13 percent of deaths from stroke
are attributable to diabetes or prediabetes. For more information on Million Hearts, visit
Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in 2009 and is the leading cause of new cases of kidney failure,
blindness among adults younger than 75, and amputation of feet and legs not related to injury.
People with diagnosed diabetes have medical costs that are more than twice as high as for people without the disease. The
total costs of diabetes are an estimated $174 billion annually, including $116 billion in direct medical costs.
Diabetes means your blood glucose, or blood sugar, is too high. With Type 2
diabetes, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose get into your cells to
give them energy. Without insulin, too much glucose stays in your blood. Over time, high blood glucose can lead to
serious problems with your heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves, gums and teeth.
You have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes if you are older, obese, have a family history of diabetes, or do not exercise.
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes appear slowly. Some people do not notice symptoms at all. The symptoms can include
● Being very thirsty
● Urinating often
● Feeling very hungry or tired
● Losing weight without trying
● Having sores that heal slowly
● Having blurry eyesight
A blood test can show if you have diabetes. Many people can manage their diabetes through healthy eating, physical
activity, and blood glucose testing. Some people also need to take
Should I be tested for diabetes?
Anyone 45 years old or older should consider getting tested for diabetes. If you are 45 or older and overweight-see the
BMI chart -getting tested is strongly recommended. If you are younger than 45,
overweight, and have one or more of the
risk factors, you should consider getting tested. Ask your doctor for a fasting
blood glucose test or an oral glucose tolerance test. Your doctor will tell you if you have normal blood glucose, prediabetes, or diabetes.
● Among U.S. residents ages 65 years and older, 10.9 million, or 26.9 percent, had diabetes in 2010.
● Diabetes affects 25.8 million people of all ages - 8.3 percent of the U.S. population
> DIAGNOSED - 18.8 million people
●> UNDIAGNOSED - 7.0 million people
● 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 ages 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 (A1C) levels, 35 percent of U.S. adults ages 20 years or
older had prediabetes - 50 percent of adults ages 65 years or older. Applying this percentage to the entire U.S. population in 2010 yields an
estimated 79 million American adults ages 20 years or older with prediabetes.
● Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, nontraumatic lower-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.
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