Here’s a quote from a recent Diabetes Care:
Improved therapeutics and health care delivery have brought remarkable declines in the incidence of … complications, with a 50% reduction in amputations from their peak in 1997 and ∼35% reduction in the incidence of end-stage renal disease. Similarly, 10-year coronary heart disease risk dropped from 21% in 2000 to 16% in 2008.
Nevertheless, diabetes remains the leading cause of blindness, renal failure, non-traumatic lower-limb amputation, in adults 18 to 65 years of age.
Diabetes is expensive, too. We spent $174 billion (USD) on diabetes in 2007 in the U.S.
The companion essay by Dr. Robert Ratner also notes 79 million Americans with prediabetes.
In addition to lower rates of major diabetes complications, we now have 11 classes of drugs for treating diabetes, compared with just three or four a generation ago.
I’m hopeful that future research will point to dietary changes that can help control or prevent diabetes on a wide scale. The paleo diet and low-carb eating are two possible avenues.