AIMS: To identify how efforts to control the diabetes epidemic and the resulting changes in diabetes mellitus, type II (T2D) incidence and survival have affected the time-trend of T2D prevalence.
METHODS: A newly developed method of trend decomposition was applied to a 5% sample of Medicare administrative claims filed between 1991 and 2012.
RESULTS: Age-adjusted prevalence of T2D for adults age 65+ increased at an average annual percentage change of 2.31% between 1992 and 2012. Primary contributors to this trend were (in order of magnitude): improved survival at all ages, increased prevalence of T2D prior to age of Medicare eligibility, decreased incidence of T2D after age of Medicare eligibility.
CONCLUSIONS: Health services supported by the Medicare system, coupled with improvements in medical technology and T2D awareness efforts provide effective care for individuals age 65 and older. However, policy maker attention should be shifted to the prevention of T2D in younger age groups to control the increase in prevalence observed prior to Medicare eligibility.