Florida Named One of the Top Ten Diabetes Hot Spots in the U.S.

Over the next 15 years, Florida will bear one of the greatest burdens of diabetes, according to a study, released yesterday, by the Institute for Alternative Futures (IAF).

Almost 12 percent of Florida's population, or 2,271,300 people, suffered from diabetes in 2010. An 85 percent jump to about 4.2 million diabetic Floridians is expected by 2025, according to the study, United States' Diabetes Crisis: Today and Future Trends. The cost of treating the disease is expected to spike 95 percent in that same time, from $21 billion to $40.4 billion. By 2025, Florida will bear the third greatest burden of diabetes in the country, trailing only Texas and California.    

"This research maps the alarming demographic realities of diabetes through 2025 if we don't make fundamental changes, particularly in our lifestyles and health system," said Dr. William Robert Rowley, senior fellow at IAF and lead author of the study. "The burden of diabetes will not fall equally. To change this tragic trajectory, it's imperative that public and private agencies work together on national as well as state and local levels."

The study also noted that in 2010, more than 250,000 Floridians were left visually impaired, some even blind, because of diabetes; more than 5,000 underwent amputations; and about 3,750 diabetics developed kidney failure. Overall, the disease contributed to more than 20,000 deaths last year in Florida.

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