Are Retail Clinics Curbing New Diabetes Cases?

December 8th 2015
Meghan Ross, Senior Associate Editor
Meghan Ross, Senior Associate Editor

Data from the CDC reveal that new cases of diagnosed diabetes among adults are dropping.

Data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal that new cases of diagnosed diabetes among adults ages 18 to 79 are dropping.

In 1980, the number of new diabetes cases was on a steady trend upward, reaching its peak in 2009. From 1991 to 2009, the number of diabetes cases jumped from 573,000 to more than 1.7 million, according to the CDC.

Starting in 2010, however, the trend started to reverse. From 2009 to 2014, the number of new diabetes cases dropped to around 1.4 million.

For the past few years, the CDC’s numbers showing this decline were not considered statistically significant, but these new data offer substantial evidence signifying that fewer people are developing diabetes.

Kathleen M. Dailey, MS, FNP-C, a board-certified family nurse practitioner and state practice manager for MinuteClinic, toldContemporary Clinicthat the CDC report was “an astonishing and welcomed surprise.”

While experts cannot say what exactly has led to this decline, Dr. Dailey said it would be worth looking at the number of new diabetes management and community programs aimed at reducing obesity.

“Looking at the comorbidities and studying correlations with this drop in new diabetes cases is the first step for epidemiologists,” Dr. Dailey said.

She maintained that pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants play an important role in community awareness about public health.

“The rapid increase in number of pharmacy clinics is well-known, and their pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants are the most accessible health care providers to community members,” Dr. Dailey said. “Among the wellness services offered at these community-based clinics are diabetes screening and monitoring, as well as weight management.”

She also noted that stakeholders are increasingly recognizing retail clinics’ benefits. She pointed to FMAHealth president and board chairman Glen Stream, MD, who has argued that some communities have a high demand for primary care services but do not have the capacity to deliver these services.

“The Family Medicine for America’s Health, an organization comprised of 8 associations including the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Board of Family Medicine, is now advocating for patient access to coordinated care with CVS MinuteClinic locations,” Dr. Dailey added. “This is a big win for patients.”

Other findings from the CDC report include the fact that adults between ages 65 and 79 saw a large increase in diabetes prevalence between 1980 and 2014. The incidence rate nearly doubled from 6.9 to 12.1 per 1000 individuals.

In terms of gender, the incidence of diabetes among men saw a large bump over women in 2009, but in 2014, the incidence rate was similar: 6.8 per 1000 men and 6.5 per 1000 women.

White patients have traditionally had lower incidence rates of diabetes than African-Americans and Hispanics. However, these 3 races all saw increases in rates around 2008 and 2009.

In 2014, the rate was 6.4 per 1000 for white patients, 8.4 per 1000 for African-American patients, and 8.5 per 1000 for Hispanic patients.

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