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Stay Informed: Study Says Diabetes Rates Could Surge in Young People

February 10, 2023

No one has a crystal ball to predict the future, but data and trends point to alarming diabetes projections for the coming decades.

A new study published by the American Diabetes Association reveals that type 2 diabetes in people under the age of 20 may increase dramatically by 2060 – nearly 675% – if trends continue. That means many more young people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with diabetes if rates rise at the same pace as between 2002 and 2017.

Other findings:

  • Type 1 diabetes may increase by 65% in young people.
  • As many as 526,000 young people may have diabetes by 2060.
  • The increase in expected type 2 diabetes rates could have several causes, including rising rates of childhood obesity.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) is working to combat the expected surge in many ways, including its Diabetes Action Plan with the goal of reducing the progression of diabetes in Arizona by 25% by 2025. To help achieve this goal, there are some exciting projects with community partners in the works that BCBSAZ hopes to announce soon.

“We want to see an overall reduction in diabetes,” Dr. Cara Christ, BCBSAZ Chief Medical Officer, said. “Prediabetes is becoming so prevalent, and prediabetes often progresses to diabetes within 3-5 years.”

One in three Arizonans has prediabetes, although 90% of them are unaware of their status. You can check your risk by taking a 60-second online test.

What should people do if they are at risk?

Get screened!

“Take a hemoglobin A1C test,” Dr. Christ stated. “It’s an easy blood test that tells you what your blood sugars were for the past 90 days, which is a very important metric. If more sugar is accumulating in your red blood cells, that tells you there is less glucose control.”

Once you know what your hemoglobin A1C is, you can work with your healthcare provider to develop a plan that’s right for you, which could include increasing physical activity and focusing on nutrition.

If you want to learn more about screening, prevention, or managing diabetes, visit: AZBlue - BCBSAZ - Understanding Diabetes