Upward trends in obesity and people in the U.S. being overweight have not subsided. But medical complications from diabetes apparently have.
The New England Journal of Medicine reports that the rates of heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and amputations dropped in the last 20 years. Rates of heart attacks and deaths from high blood sugar dropped more than 60 percent from 1990 to 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study in The Journal reports.
The number of people in the U.S. with diabetes more than tripled from 1990 to 2010, The New York Times reports. Today about 26 million Americans have diabetes, mostly Type 2, which often is related to obesity.
About 79 million more people have pre-diabetes, meaning they are at high risk of getting the disease.
The declines in complications from diabetes are from years of medical efforts to improve the care for patients with Type 2 diabetes. That includes medicine to control blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure.
Patients also are getting more information on how to care for themselves in addition to intervention when they get off track. It helps keep down medical expenses, amounting to about $176 billion a year for diabetes and its complications.
Reducing the complications also keeps people with diabetes more productive, which helps families and the economy.