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A large segment of the U.S. population may soon receive a positive HbA1c test indicating they have diabetes unless current trends are curtailed, according to a new study.
Researchers from Northwestern University reported at the recent Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association that 83 percent of men and 72 percent of women will be overweight or obese by the year 2020, according to their projections. This may result in more than 50 percent of the adult population developing diabetes.
This could take a major economic toll on the nation, as a higher burden of the chronic disease could cause healthcare costs to eclipse $1.1 trillion by 2030.
The researchers said that progress has been made in reducing the number of individuals who die from heart disease. However, diabetes is poised to overtake cardiovascular conditions as one of the leading killers.
In order to avoid this situation, the team recommended that public policy changes be made to help support healthy eating and exercise habits that can enable individuals to lose extra weight and reduce their risk of developing diabetes. Additionally, they said individuals need to take more responsibility for their metabolic health.
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