Type 2 diabetes: the modern epidemic

  • Vivian A. Fonseca
  • Merri Pendergrass
  • Roberta Harrison McDuffie


Type 2 diabetes is a major clinical and public health problem. It is estimated that in the year 2000, 171 million people worldwide had type 2 diabetes, including about 18 million Americans, and it is estimated that these numbers will grow to 366 million people worldwide and 30 million Americans by the year 2030.

This high prevalence of diabetes leads to a high global burden of the condition and its complications. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness below the age of 65 years, and it is responsible for almost half the cases needing dialysis. It is responsible for most non-traumatic amputations. The financial cost of this condition is staggering, with one in seven healthcare dollars in the USA spent on treating the condition or its complications. Indeed, despite the fact that only about 10-15% of the Medicare population has diabetes, about 25% of the American Medicare budget is spent on this condition. In addition, there is a considerable expenditure on the social costs involved with people who suffer with long-term complications, including disability and premature death.


Impaired Glucose Tolerance Gestational Diabetes Impaired Fasting Glucose Diabetes Prevention Study Random Plasma Glucose 
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    Nathan DM, Davidson MB, DeFronzo RA, et al. Impaired fasting glucose and impaired glucose tolerance: implications for care. Diabetes Care 2007: 30(3):753–759.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vivian A. Fonseca
    • 1
  • Merri Pendergrass
    • 2
  • Roberta Harrison McDuffie
    • 3
  1. 1.Tulane University Medical CenterNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Medical School And Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and HypertensionBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  3. 3.Tulane University Health Science Center Diabetes ProgramNew OrleansUSA

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