Millions of people in the United States are battling diabetes, but new information released by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) earlier this year shows that diagnosis rates are slowing for the first time in history.
“Our findings suggest that after decades of continued growth in the prevalence and incident of diagnosed diabetes, the diabetes epidemic may be beginning to slow for the first time,” notes the report, which lists the total rate of diabetes diagnoses dropping from 1.7 million new cases in 2009 to 1.4 million new cases in 2014.
However, though a reduction in obesity and healthier lifestyle practices have most likely contributed to the overall decline in diagnosis rates, the CDC states that diabetes is still an “urgent public health epidemic,” and is actually on the rise in some groups of patients, including Latinos, African-Americans and patients who do not complete their high school education.
“I am not confident that the tides are turning,” argues Gary Rothenberg, DPM, in Podiatry Today, of the slowing rates. “There is still a lot of work to be done. I am still treating too many wounds and doing too many toe amputations.”
As footfiles.com has previously reported, diabetes has a tendency to reduce blood flow to a person’s lower extremities and damage nerves in the legs and feet. This can lead to numbness, decreased sensitivity and the inability to feel pain — meaning seemingly simple foot conditions like blisters, calluses, cuts, fungal infections and dry skin can accidentally go unnoticed and escalate into serious health issues, including the possible need for toe, foot and leg amputations.
For more information on diabetes and how the condition can affect your feet and limbs, visit our Diabetic Foot Care section.