Number of Americans with Diabetes Rises to Nearly 26 Million
More than a third of adults estimated to have prediabetes
Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes, according to new estimates
from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition,
an estimated 79 million U.S. adults have prediabetes, a condition in
which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to
be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes raises a person's risk of type 2
diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
affects 8.3 percent of Americans of all ages, and 11.3 percent of
adults aged 20 and older, according to the National Diabetes Fact Sheet
for 2011. About 27 percent of those with diabetes—7 million
Americans—do not know they have the disease. Prediabetes affects
35 percent of adults aged 20 and older.
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," said Ann
Albright, Ph.D, R.D., director of CDC's Division of
DiabetesTranslation. "We know that a structured lifestyle program that
includes losing weight and increasing physical activity can prevent or
delay type 2 diabetes."
working on the National Diabetes Prevention Program, as stated in the
Affordable Care Act. This program, based on the NIH-led Diabetes
Prevention Program research study, is aimed at helping people reduce
their risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
In 2008, CDC
estimated that 23.6 million Americans, or 7.8 percent of the
population, had diabetes and another 57 million adults had prediabetes.
The 2011 estimates have increased for several reasons:
- More people are developing diabetes.
people are living longer with diabetes, which raises the total number
of those with the disease. Better management of the disease is
improving cardiovascular disease risk factors and reducing
complications such as kidney failure and amputations.
A1c is now used as a diagnostic test, and was therefore incorporated
into calculations of national prevalence for the first time. The test,
also called glycated hemoglobin, measures levels of blood glucose
(sugar) over a period of two to three months. Because of this change,
estimates of populations with diabetes and prediabetes in the 2011 fact
sheet are not directly comparable to estimates in previous fact sheets.
In a study
published last year, CDC projected that as many as 1 in 3 U.S. adults
could have diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue. Type 2
diabetes, in which the body gradually loses its ability to use and
produce insulin, accounts for 90 percent to 95 percent of diabetes
cases. Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include older age, obesity,
family history, having diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes),
a sedentary lifestyle, and race/ethnicity. Groups at higher risk for
the disease are African-Americans, Hispanics, American Indians/Alaska
Natives, and some Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Other data from the fact sheet:
215,000 Americans younger than age 20 have diabetes. Most cases of
diabetes among children and adolescents are type 1, which develops when
the body can no longer make insulin, a hormone that controls the amount
of blood glucose.
- An estimated 1.9 million Americans were diagnosed with diabetes in 2010.
- Racial and
ethnic minorities continue to have higher rates of diabetes after
adjusting for population age differences. For adults, 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.
- Half of Americans aged 65 and older have prediabetes, and nearly 27 percent have diabetes.
sheet estimates are drawn from a variety of sources, including CDC
surveys, the Indian Health Service National Patient Information
Reporting System, the U.S. Renal Data System of the National Institutes
of Health, the U.S. Census Bureau, and published studies. The fact
sheet was prepared in collaboration with a number of agencies within
the U.S. Department of Healthand Human Services, other federal
agencies, and the American Association of Diabetes Educators, the
American Diabetes Association, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research
the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. People with
diabetes are more likely to suffer from complications such as heart
attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, kidney failure, blindness and
amputations of feet and legs. Diabetes costs $174 billion annually,
including $116 billion in direct medical expenses.
The fact sheet is available at www.cdc.gov/diabetes.
Information on diabetes prevention and control from the National
Diabetes Education Program—a joint effort of CDC and NIH—is
available at www.yourdiabetesinfo.org.