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."