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Rate of New Diabetes Cases are Falling in the U.S.

Update Date: Dec 01, 2015 09:35 AM EST

Intervention methods and lifestyle changes could have prevented the number of new diabetes cases from increasing in the United States, a federal report concluded.

According to experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the total number of new diabetes cases has fallen by almost 20 percent from 1.7 million in 2008  to 1.4 million cases in 2014. This is the first time in 25 years that the rate has fallen. The researchers noted that the rate has been gradually falling over the past few years but the decline was not significant until now.

"It seems pretty clear that incidence rates have now actually started to drop," CDC diabetes expert Edward Gregg tells The New York Times. "Initially it was a little surprising because I had become so used to seeing increases everywhere we looked."

The experts stated that they could not determine for sure whether or not prevention tactics have made the difference. However, there is evidence that Americans are eating better and exercising more, which would reduce people's risk of developing diabetes. They also noted that the disease could have peaked within the nation and is now on its way down.

Despite the decline, the number of diabetes cases is still more than two times higher than the number recorded in the early 1990s.

"It's not yet time to have a parade," said Dr. David M. Nathan, the director of the Diabetes Center and Clinical Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The experts and critics hope that since people are more aware of and educated about the disease, they would be more focused on adopting healthier lifestyles.

Within the U.S., roughly 29 million people have diabetes with about 86 million more with prediabetes.

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