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  • Nearly 10% of Americans Have Diabetes; 25% of Them Don't Know It

    Diabetes rates continue to rise at an "alarming" rate, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which reports that in 2012, the disease was the seventh leading cause of death in the US with a cost of $245 billion in medical expenses and lost work.

    According to the CDC's National Diabetes Statistics Report (.pdf), about 9.3% of the US population—just over 29 million people—have diabetes, and 27% of those have not been diagnosed. Another 86 million adults have prediabetes, according to the report, which is based on data from 2012.

    Also from the report:

    • Diabetes rates for Hispanics (12.8%), non-Hispanic blacks (13.2%) and Native Americans/Alaska Natives (15.9%) were markedly higher than the 7.6% rate of non-Hispanic whites. The diabetes rate among Asians was 9%.
    • Among the estimated 86 million Americans with prediabetes, rates are fairly evenly distributed among non-Hispanic whites (35%), non-Hispanic blacks (39%), and Hispanics (38%).
    • Diabetes was listed as the primary cause of kidney failure in 44% of all new cases in 2011.
    • About 60% of non-traumatic lower limb amputations among adults are performed on individuals with diabetes, totaling 73,000 diabetes-related amputations in 2010.

    In a press release, Ann Albright, PhD, RD, director of CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation, said that "These new numbers are alarming and underscore the need for an increased focus on reducing the burden of diabetes in this country."

    APTA emphasizes the importance of prevention, wellness, and disease management, and offers resources on diabetes for physical therapists and their patients through its Move Forward.com diabetes webpage and in a pocket guide to diabetes. The association also offers 21 clinical practice guidelines on care for patients with diabetes as well as 3 Cochrane reviews related to care for patients with diabetes-related foot ulcers through its PTNow evidence-based practice tool.

    Do you have patients or clients with a recent type 2 diabetes diagnosis? The American Diabetes Association is offering a free guide called "Where Do I Begin," that helps patients and clients understand the fundamentals of the disease and the steps that can be taken to live with it. The booklets are being offered at no charge and can be ordered online.

    Health Data Breaches Affect 31.7 Million

    It's not exactly the kind of milestone they make greeting cards for: last week, the US Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) "wall of shame" listings of large-scale health IT data breaches passed the 1,000 mark. The breaches affected 31.7 million people in the US, a number equivalent to 1 in every 10 Americans.

    According to a recent article in Modern Healthcare (free registration required), a total of 1,026 breaches that affected 500 or more individuals each are now posted on the HHS site, which houses reports dating back to 2009. That number doesn't include the 116,000 breaches involving the records of fewer than 500 individuals, according to the article.

    The HHS Office of Civil Rights, which investigates the breaches, is primarily interested in ensuring compliance; however, monetary settlements have been increasing, with a record $4.8 million negotiated agreement announced in May. According to the Modern Healthcare article, the majority of cases are closed without a settlement.

    HIPAA rules can be complex, but the consequences of not understanding them can be serious. APTA provides resources on compliance on its HIPAA webpage.

    Taking It to the Streets: Enhancing Local Physical Activity Efforts

    Finding ways to advance physical activity through local action will be the subject of an upcoming free webinar from the National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) Alliance.

    The webinar, titled "How Cities, Towns and Counties Can Take Action to Increase Physical Activity," will outline NPAP's recommendations for parks and recreation, public health, and local government. The hour-long presentation will held on June 19 at 3:00 pm ET, and will be led by Russell R. Pate, PhD, professor in the Department of Exercise Science at the University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health, and Jim Whitehead, executive vice president and CEO of the American College of Sports Medicine. Registration is free.

    NPAP is a comprehensive strategic plan to promote physical activity in the US. The plan is overseen by the NPAP Alliance, a nonprofit coalition of national organizations. APTA is a member of the Alliance board of directors.