Diabetes in US

 Diabetes in the US

  • The epidemic of diabetes and its warning sign- prediabetes, is sweeping across the country. By 2020, an estimated 52 percent of the adult population will have diabetes or prediabetes. Yet shockingly, the vast majority— more than 90 percent—of people with prediabetes, and about a quarter of people with diabetes, are unaware of their condition according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2007) National Diabetes Fact Sheet.
  • Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, affecting 27 million adults — that is more than 95% of all diagnosed adult cases of diabetes, approximately one-third of this is undiagnosed. A further 67 million are currently estimated to have prediabetes (see Prediabetes). 
  • The prevalence of type 2 diabetes has tripled since the 1980s. Over the past 10 years, there has been a 62% increase in diabetes cases in the US. A total of 1.6 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in 2006.
  • Contributing factors include an aging population, increasing rates of obesity, a larger share of at-risk minority populations, and a longer lifespan among people with diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes is at least double among all non-white populations than whites in the US.
  • The health spending associated with diabetes and prediabetes is projected to increase from $194 billion this year (approximately seven percent of total U.S. health spending) to $500 billion by 2020. (see Economic Burden)
  • Among American adults (>20 years of age), 11% have diabetes. About one third of those with diabetes do not know they had it (3% undiagnosed and 8% diagnosed). Among the elderly, 22% have diabetes (15% diagnosed and 7% undiagnosed).
  • The prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes varies from a low of 2% among white females to a high of 4% in Mexican females and black men.1 It is estimated that the prevalence of diabetes will reach 15% by 2020.
  • Of all Americans with diabetes, 27% is unaware and not treated, 36% are aware but not treated, 25% treated but uncontrolled, and 12% treated and controlled (i.e., on treatment with fasting plasma glucose <126 mg/dL).1


The United States of Diabetes: Challenges and opportunities in the decade ahead by United Health 2010

1. American Heart Association. Heart and Stroke Statistical Update2010.

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