We read some big news this week so let’s start with the good news: Rates of diabetes-related complications like heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease have declined substantially in the past two decades. The not-so-good: A large burden of disease persists because of the continued increase in the prevalence of diabetes, says a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The obesity epidemic fuels the rise of type 2 diabetes cases, and it’s expected that our baby boomer generation will cause diabetes numbers to continue on the upswing.
In America, approximately 26 million Americans actually have diabetes, while another 79 million have what’s called prediabetes, meaning they’re at risk of developing diabetes.
When you see your healthcare provider, you expect to learn what’s wrong with you and what you can do about it. You don’t expect to be misdiagnosed like 20 million Americans—that’s 1 in 20 of us. Thankfully, approximately half of these errors won’t do much harm, but the other half could do serious damage, say the authors of a new report. We already knew about the hazards of hospital-related infections and medication errors, but this adds another unwanted wrinkle to the complex landscape of patient care. These worrisome new numbers “should encourage policymakers, healthcare organizations and researchers to start measuring and reducing diagnostic errors,” the authors say.