In 2017, the CDC reported that more than 100 million US adults were living with diabetes or prediabetes. Dr. Richard H. Nagelberg quotes more staggering statistics and asks the golden question: "Given the fact that diabetes and periodontal disease are intimately linked, chronic, incurable conditions—each of which impacts the other—why aren’t we talking about this every day?"
⚫️ “More than 100 million US adults are now living with diabetes or prediabetes, according to a new report released today [July 18, 2017] by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).” (1)
⚫️ “The report finds that as of 2015, 30.3 million Americans—9.4% of the US population—have diabetes. Another 84.1 million have prediabetes, a condition that if not treated often leads to type 2 diabetes within five years.” (1)
⚫️ “Consistent with previous trends, our research shows that diabetes cases are still increasing, although not as quickly as in previous years,” said Ann Albright, PhD, RD, director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation.” (1)
AFTER YOU HAVE READ THE THREE QUOTES LISTED ABOVE, READ THEM AGAIN AND LET THE NUMBERS THAT QUANTIFY THE STAGGERING SIZE OF THE PROBLEM SINK IN.
Here are few more numbers indicating the number of people in the United States with diabetes in the past according to the CDC:(2)
1965 . . . . . 2.39 million
1975 . . . . . 4.78 million
1985 . . . . . 6.13 million
1995 . . . . . 8.66 million
2005 . . . . 16.32 million
2015 . . . . 23.35 million
2017 . . . . 30.30 million
“According to an ADA expert panel, up to 70% of individuals with prediabetes will eventually develop diabetes.” (3)
70% of 84.1 million is 58.87 million. Add that to the 30.3 million with diagnosed diabetes in 2017, and that comes to 89.17 million people. Another way of looking at these numbers is about twice as many people will become diabetic in the future versus the number of people with diabetes today.
Given the fact that diabetes and periodontal disease are intimately linked, chronic, incurable conditions—each of which impacts the other—why aren’t we talking about this every day? Which is more important: digital impressions and bioactive restorative materials or the skyrocketing rate of diabetes? The priorities in the dental profession are extremely out of whack.
It’s time to stop shaking our heads at the problem and get mad enough to do something about it! It’s time to get our heads out of the sand and recognize that we have a serious problem. It’s time to act, any way we can.
“As of 2016, there are 196,441 dentists working in dentistry (dentists using their dental degree in some fashion) in the US.” (4)
There are enough of us to make a difference.
1. New CDC report: More than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes [news release]. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; July 18, 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p0718-diabetes-report.html.
2. Long-term Trends in Diabetes, April 2017. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Diabetes Translation. United States Diabetes Surveillance System available at http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data.
3. Tabák AG, Herder C, Rathmann W, Brunner EJ, Kivimäki M. Prediabetes: A high-risk state for developing diabetes. Lancet. 2012;379(9833):2279-2290. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60283-9.
4. Workforce: How many dentists are there in the U.S.? Source: Supply of Dentists in the U.S.: 2001–2017. Health Policy Institute. American Dental Association website. www.ada.org/science-research/health-policy-institute/dental-statistics/workforce. Accessed January 22, 2017.