CDC Releases Studies on Diabetes and Smoking
- Diabetes: Despite a "sharp increase" in obesity, diabetes rates "rose only slightly" from an estimated 8.2% of U.S. adults from 1988 to 1994 to 8.6% of adults in 1999 to 2000 -- an increase of less than 5%, the AP/Washington Post reports. The small increase in diabetes was a "surprise" to the CDC because rates of obesity, which can lead to diabetes, rose quickly over the 1990s, the AP/Post reports. According to the CDC, about 30% of U.S. adults were obese as of 2000, up from 23% from 1988 to 1994. Lifestyle changes -- such as dieting and more exercise -- could explain why some high-risk adults have not developed diabetes, CDC officials said. However, health officials cautioned that diabetes rates could "climb sharply" over the next couple of years because diabetes is a slow-developing disease, the AP/Post reports (AP/Washington Post, 9/5). The report is available online.
- Smoking: About 10% of current and former smokers, or 8.6 million U.S. residents, have chronic smoking-related illnesses, according to the CDC's first national estimate, the AP/Contra Costa Times reports (AP/Contra Costa Times, 9/5). The estimate, based on a national telephone survey in 2000, found that 49% of current smokers said they had chronic bronchitis and 24% said they had emphysema. For former smokers, 26% said they had chronic bronchitis, 24% said they had emphysema and 24% said they had a previous heart attack. Lung cancer accounted for 1% of all smoking-related illnesses (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 9/5). The CDC estimates that there are 440,000 smoking-related deaths per year in the United States (AP/Contra Costa Times, 9/5). The report is available online.