Diabetes Mellitus - Prevalence
The most recent health and nutrition survey in the United States demonstrated that the prevalence of diabetes approaches 20 percent in Caucasian persons over age seventy, and may be as high as 50 percent in certain ethnic groups (Harris et al.). Canadian data suggest a similar picture with about 12 percent of people age sixty-five and older affected (Roc et al.). As of 2000 in North America, the group of people over sixty-five represents about 13 percent of the total population. Assuming that the trend of aging persists, this group will likely represent around 21 percent of the population by 2020. If the prevalence of diabetes remains the same, there is likely to be a marked increase in the absolute number of elderly diabetic patients by the middle of twenty-first century.