Obese US Facing Diabetes Crisis

A million new cases reported a year
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2008 3:35 AM CST
A diabetes sufferer draws insulin for her insulin pump. A new study says Amrica is facing a catastrophic diabetes epidemic. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – America is facing a diabetes epidemic—a health disaster more economically catastrophic than a Hurricane Katrina each year, USA Today reports. The disease killed 284,000 people last year, and a staggering million new cases are diagnosed each year as more Americans become morbidly obese, according to a new study by the American Diabetes Association.

The illness costs the US economy some $174 billion a year in medical care and lost productivity, and unchecked diabetes will place an unsustainable burden on state economies, said an expert at the federal Centers for Disease Control. "It's a sad story that should cause us to take action," she said. A national business group representative warned that the disease "will ruin a generation of Americans."