The Diabetic Patient and You
Nearly 30 million Americans have diabetes, and a quarter of them don’t even know it. And, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) another 86 million Americans are pre-diabetic, and only 10% are aware of it.
As reported in the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study, by the time those folks are diagnosed, they have already likely lost nearly half of their insulin-producing pancreatic beta cell function.
To better help your patients, here are a few facts you and staff should know about the prevalence of diabetes in the U.S. and why it’s so important to not only treat but also educate patients.
1. SPEND: One out of every seven healthcare dollars in the U.S. are spent on treating diabetes and its complications, according to the American Diabetes Association.
2. ETHNICITY: “Hispanics and African Americans are more than 50% more likely to suffer from diabetes than non-Hispanic whites,” reports the association.
3. YOUTH: According to research of youth under age 18 conducted over a 10-year period and appearing in The New England Journal of Medicine, the number of newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetes cases increased 1.8% each year of the study, while the incidence of Type 2 rose 4.8%.
4. FUTURE: Even more concerning is the fact that nearly a third of American adults are expected to be diabetic by the year 2050, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
5. RESPONSIBILITY: According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), optometrists have several responsibilities when it comes to patient care. They include:
• “Identifying diabetes’ tell-tale markers, and reducing the risk of vision loss through timely diagnosis, intervention and action;
• improving the quality of care for people with diabetes;
• educating patients and care providers regarding ocular complications of diabetes, and the benefits of vision rehabilitation;
• and, suggesting vision rehabilitation services or referral of people with vision loss from diabetes.”
6. MATERIALS: Take advantage of materials available at shopdiabetes.org and aoa.org to get the dangers-of-diabetes messaging across to patients with everything from posters and online posts to in-office video and patient education pamphlets.
How do you educate families in your practice about the prevention and treatment of diabetes? Tell us and share in the conversation on Facebook here.
Image credit: Wilson Araujo/adobestock.com