08.22.11 | By

"Horrifying," that's how one of my colleagues here described this item detailing the growing toll of the diabetes pandemic. The bottom line? One in four adults in the U.S. now has diabetes, a number that has doubled in just the past 30 years.

Numbers like these have huge implications. It means that greater demands will be made on our health care system - which can help drive health care costs. It could also have important economic consequences - both in terms of providing needed care to diabetes patients and in a greater loss of productivity from workers struggling to manage the disease.

As we think about the implications of this explosion of diabetes cases, we should keep in mind that potentially manageable chronic conditions - including diabetes - already consume 75 Cents of every dollar spent on healthcare in the U.S.

There's a lot being done to help fight diabetes. America's biopharmaceutical research companies are working on a record number of medicines to help treat diabetes. But important as new medicines are, prevention remains critical to stalling and, hopefully, reducing these terrible numbers.

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