According to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control, 33% of the US population may have diabetes by the year 2050. This widely reported prediction has shocked the health care community, but the feared impact of this potential health crisis is impacting South Texas today. With diabetes rates approaching 30% within its borders, Cameron County, Texas, offers a cautionary tale of the strain of a rapidly expanding diabetic population. During this moment in history when we are debating and defining a new health care context, the existing diabetes epidemic along the Texas border cannot be ignored. This is a story of a struggle within a community and the health care system that serves it. The script for the health of the nation is being written here.
The impacts and human toll of this threat will be catastrophic for the community and the health care system that serves it. Diabetes and its primary cause obesity are on track to devastate generations of Americans. The Centers for Disease Control estimate by the year 2050 close to 30% of the US population will suffer from this silent killer. This estimate shocked the US health care establishment and ushered in calls to change the two critical elements for health: diet and exercise.
Deputy Director Texas Diabetes Institute
Regional Dean, University of Texas School of Public Health
Professor of Epidemiology, University of Texas School of Public Health
San Antonio, Texas
Small Towns in Central, East and Northern Texas (Dallas, Austin, Stephensville)