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With more than 23 million Americans already diagnosed with diabetes, the number of individuals affected by the condition in the U.S. is expected to double over the next 25 years, according to new research.
A study published in the December issue of Diabetes Care claimed that the aging population and the persistence of high obesity rates will produce a populace at a greater risk for type 2 diabetes than in the past, HealthDay News reports.
Researchers expect that the obesity rate will remain stable throughout the study's timeframe, ranging from about 27 percent to 30 percent.
"This is clearly a very pressing problem," Michael O'Grady, a senior fellow at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, told the news source.
He added, "It's one of the few chronic illnesses we have that is growing, and the cost of doing nothing is going to be quite high."
The study predicted the price tag on treating those with diabetes in 2034 will be about $336 billion, about three times the estimated cost for 2009.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 23 percent of Americans over 60 have diabetes.
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