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Diabetes

Narrative

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition characterized by high blood sugar and is among the leading causes of death in the United States.1 Complications of diabetes are serious and may include blindness, kidney damage, heart disease, stroke, nervous system disease, and amputation. The main types of diabetes are Type 1, Type 2, and gestational (diabetes occurring or first recognized during pregnancy). Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults and has risk factors that include autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases, with risk factors that include obesity, physical inactivity, a family history of the disease, and gestational diabetes.

In 2007–2010, 28 million or 12.0 percent of adults were found to have diabetes (tested positive for the condition on a fasting plasma glucose test, glycohemoglobin A1C test, or 2-hour oral glucose test; data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site). Overall, diabetes was slightly more common in men than women (13.6 versus 10.6 percent, respectively) and was also higher for racial and ethnic minority groups than among non-Hispanic Whites. Among women, for example, non-Hispanic White women were least likely to have diabetes (8.9 percent) compared to non-Hispanic Black (16.5 percent), Mexican American (16.9 percent), and Other Hispanic women (12.8 percent). Diabetes prevalence increases greatly with age from 3.1 percent of women aged 18–44 years to 30.6 percent among women aged 75 years and older, and was also more common for women with less than a high school education compared to those who had graduated from college (15.6 versus 5.8 percent, respectively; data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site).

Diabetes can be successfully managed through diet modification, physical activity, glucose monitoring, and medication.1 Diagnosis is critical to develop a treatment plan and prevent serious complications. Among women who were found to have diabetes, only about half (49.4 percent) reported having been told by a health professional that they had diabetes. Non-Hispanic Black women were more likely than non-Hispanic White and Mexican American women to have ever been told by a health professional that they have diabetes (70.6 versus 40.5 and 54.0 percent, respectively).

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet. Accessed 10/19/12.

Graphs

Data

Diabetes* Among Adults Aged 18 and Older, by Race/Ethnicity** and Sex, 2007-2010
Age Group Percent of Adults
Female Male
*Tested positive on a Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) test, glycohemoglobin A1C test, or 2-hour oral glucose test; estimates are age-adjusted.
**The samples of American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and persons of multiple race were too small to produce reliable results. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2007-2010. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology and Statistics Program.
Total 10.6 13.6
Non-Hispanic White 8.9 12.6
Non-Hispanic Black 16.5 15.6
Mexican American 16.9 21.4
Other Hispanics 12.8 19.5
Diagnosis Status* Among Women Aged 18 and Older Who Have Diabetes,** by Race/Ethnicity,† 2007-2010
Race/Ethnicity Percent of Adults
Adults with Diagnosed Diabetes Adults with Undiagnosed Diabetes
*Reported a health professional has ever told them they have diabetes.
**Tested positive on a Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) test, glycohemoglobin A1C test, or 2-hour oral glucose test.
†The samples of American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and persons of multiple races were too small to produce reliable results. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2007-2010. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology and Statistics Program.
Total 49.4 50.6
Non-Hispanic White 40.5 59.5
Non-Hispanic Black 70.6 29.4
Mexican American 54.0 46.0
Other Hispanics 60.6 39.4