The Impact of Diabetes in America

A Louisiana native, Nicholas (Nick) Rauber, DDS, currently practices at the Aesthetic Dentistry Group. In addition to his career as a dentist, Dr. Nicholas Rauber leads Swollfest, a nonprofit event he founded to raise vital funding for a variety of charitable initiatives, particularly diabetes education and research.

A principal cause of kidney failure, diabetes also contributes to hypertension, blindness, heart attacks, and strokes. It is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., affecting 29.1 million Americans as of 2012. Of these, 1.25 million cases consist of type 1 diabetes. Nearly a third of these cases are undiagnosed. Nearly 16 percent of American Indians and Alaskan natives have been diagnosed with diabetes, giving this group the highest rate of diabetes cases by race or ethnic background. Non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics follow at 13.2 and 12.8 percent respectively.

According to the American Diabetes Association, $245 billion was spent across the nation in 2012 to treat diagnosed cases. This total includes $69 billion in reduced productivity and $176 billion in direct medical costs. While treatments are available to manage and control it, no cure has been discovered for type 1 and type 2 diabetes.