Diabetes is a very serious condition that affects the lives of millions of people in this country alone. Billions of dollars every year are spent in the treatment and research of this disease every year in research centers around the world. The Utah Diabetes Center is the center of diabetes research in Salt Lake City.
The Utah Diabetes Center is located near the University of Utah Hospital, a major center medical research in its own right. The diabetes center is a self-proclaimed "one stop shop" for the treatment of the disease through all stages of life, from childhood through adulthood. They employ a staff of some of the best diabetes specialists in the nation and are dedicated to finding new, more effective ways of treating and eventually finding a cure for this disease.
Many doctors and scientists decide to perform diabetes research in Salt Lake City because Utah has one of the highest incidence rates of the disease that can be found anywhere in the country. A study performed by the Utah Department of Health in November of 2000 found that over 10% of the state's population over the age of 60 suffered from a confirmed diabetes diagnosis, for both men and women. It also suggested that number increases to upward of 20% when estimated undiagnosed cases were included. Furthermore, it is estimated that as many as 110,000 residents of Utah, while not suffering from full-blown diabetes, do meet the criteria for IGT (Impaired Glucose Tolerance) which is a common precursor to developing the disease.
This same study also found that deaths due to or contributed to diabetes have been steadily rising in Utah over the last couple of decades. In 1988, approximately 20 in every 100,000 residents died from diabetes or diabetes complications. By 1998 that number had grown to just over 33 people per 100,000; and the trend appears to be continuing. Considering the national average in 1998 was only about 24 persons in 100,000, the advantage of establishing diabetes research in Salt Lake City becomes more obvious.
Diabetes research is important to the health of millions of people, and regardless of where it's been done, the end goal is to eradicate this disease once and for all.