PHARMACY

CDC reports rate of diabetes among U.S. adults soaring

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA The rate of new cases of diagnosed diabetes rose by more than 90 percent among adults over the last 10 years, most significantly in the deep South, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that was released by the agency last week.

The data, published in CDC?s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, found that in the past decade, new cases of diagnosed diabetes has increased from 4.8 per 1,000 people during 1995-1997 to 9.1 per 1,000 in 2005-2007 in 33 states.

“This dramatic increase in the number of people with diabetes highlights the increasing burden of diabetes across the country,” stated lead author Karen Kirtland, a data analyst with CDC?s Division of Diabetes Translation. “This study demonstrates that we must continue to promote effective diabetes prevention efforts that include lifestyle interventions for people at risk for diabetes. Changes such as weight loss combined with moderate physical activity are important steps that individuals can take to reduce their risk for developing diabetes.”

The study used data from CDC?s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and provides incidence rates of diabetes for 43 states and two U.S. territories. Only 33 states had data for both time periods, but 43 states collected data in 2005-2007.

State-specific, age-adjusted estimates of new cases of diabetes ranged from 5 per 1,000 people in Minnesota to 12.7 per 1,000 in West Virginia. The number of new cases was highest in Puerto Rico at 12.8 per 1,000. States with the highest age-adjusted incidence were predominately Southern states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.

“This report documents the geographic distribution of new cases of diabetes and is consistent with previous studies showing an increase in new diabetes cases,” Kirtland said. “We must step up efforts to prevent and control diabetes, particularly in the Southern U.S. region where we see higher rates of diabetes, obesity and physical inactivity.”

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Women’s stress levels may be hit harder by economy, report says

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON Women may be more prone to stressing out over poor economic conditions, which could have an impact on their health, a report from the Society for Women’s Health Research revealed last week.

Citing a recent survey from the American Psychological Association called “Stress in America,” SWHR noted that women are expressing fear about the current financial situation more than men. Women are also reporting physical and psychological symptoms, including sleep disturbances, headaches, mood swings and changes in appetite, in higher numbers than men.

Three quarters of male respondents to the APA survey expressed fear about the economy, compared to 84 percent of women.

“Women are sometimes more aware of the stress they are feeling,” Stephanie Smith, public education coordinator for the APA and a licensed clinical psychologist in Erie, Colo., said. “They are often more willing to talk about it and admit to the struggles they are having.”

Women also tend to be the primary caretakers for most families, which in times of economic crisis, can add to the burden. “Women have many roles to play in life. They are often the primary caregivers for children and the older generations [aging parents], as well as workers in industry,” Smith said. 

In addition, many of the traditional household responsibilities end up falling on the shoulders of women. “As much as things have changed over the years, women still tend to do more of the household work,” Smith said, referring to cooking, cleaning and laundry. “Taken together, these things often lead to more stress in women, because they just have more things to be stressed about.”

Women are more likely to report unhealthy behaviors, including eating poorly and excessive shopping and napping as a response to stress. They are also more likely than men to report physical symptoms of stress, including headaches, exhaustion and depression.

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SilverScript announces continuation of Medicare Rx drug plan options

BY Alaric DeArment

WOONSOCKET, R.I. A subsidiary of CVS Caremark announced Friday that it would continue offering several Medicare Prescription Drug Plan options next year in all 34 domestic Medicare regions and Puerto Rico.

SilverScript offers Medicare beneficiaries three plans, depending on patients? budgets and healthcare needs. They range from SilverScript Complete, a zero-deductible plan that covers generics through retail and mail-order pharmacies and copays as low as $6 for 90-day supplies, to SilverScript Value, a low-premium plan designed for beneficiaries who take few medications but want coverage in case their health needs change.

“Medicare beneficiaries will again have three SilverScript plan offerings to consider when selecting the prescription drug coverage plan that best fits their healthcare and medication needs,” CVS Caremark vice president for Medicare Part D services Jim Maritan said.

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