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Diabetes by the Numbers

by Clive Riddle, January 28, 2011

The CDC this week released significant updated data on diabetes in the United States, incorporated into their National Diabetes Fact Sheet 2011. The CDC has announced that 25.8 million American now have diabetes and another 79 million have prediabetes, up from 23.6 million with diabetes and 57 million with prediabetes in 2008.

Ann Albright, Ph.D, R.D., CDC Director of Division of Diabetes Translation tell us "these distressing numbers show how important it is to prevent type 2 diabetes and to help those who have diabetes manage the disease to prevent serious complications such as kidney failure and blindness. We know that a structured lifestyle program that includes losing weight and increasing physical activity can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes."

Here’s a laundry list of diabetes by the numbers from the CDC Fact Sheet and related documents:

  • 8.3% of the U.S. population now has diabetes
  • 27% of those with diabetes are currently undiagnosed
  • About 215,000 Americans younger than age 20 have diabetes. 
  • Percentage of adults with diabetes by age group: age 20-44: 3.7%; age 45-64: 13.7%; age 65+ 26.9%
  • An estimated 1.9 million Americans were diagnosed with diabetes in 2010, 24% of them age 20-44; 55% of them age 45-64 and 21% age 65+
  • 11.8% of men age 20 and older have diabetes, compared to 10.8% of women
  • By race, diabetes rates were 16.1 percent for American Indians/Alaska Natives, 12.6 percent for blacks, 11.8 percent for Hispanics, 8.4 percent for Asian-Americans, and 7.1 percent for non-Hispanic whites.
  • Reported rates of gestational diabetes range from 2% to 10% of pregnancies. Immediately after pregnancy, 5% to 10% of women with gestational diabetes are found to have diabetes, usually type 2.
  • Women who have had gestational diabetes have a 35% to 60% chance of developing diabetes in the next 10–20 years.
  • 58% of adults diagnosed with diabetes receive oral medications only; 12% receive insulin only; 14% receive oral meds and insulin; and 16% receive no medications
  • Diabetes accounts for 44% of all new cases of kidney failure
  • More than 60% of nontraumatic lower-limb amputations occur in people with diabetes
  • About 60% to 70% of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nervous system damage. 
  • Almost 30% of people with diabetes aged 40 years or older have impaired sensation in the feet
  • Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. 
  • Diabetes costs $174 billion annually, including $116 billion in direct medical expenses

Citation: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National diabetes fact sheet: national estimates and general information on diabetes and prediabetes in the United States, 2011. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011.

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