Lead the Way as Diabetes Spreads to 26 Million in New U.S. Estimate
Estimates in U.S.
have risen since CDC estimated in 2008 that 23.6 million (7.8) had
diabetes and 57 million adults had prediabetes
27, 2011 - Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes but about 42 percent of them
are senior citizens aged 65 or older, according to new estimates from
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among all seniors
living in the U.S., 10.9 million, or 26.9 percent had diabetes in 2010.
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.
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
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 Diabetes Translation. "We know that a structured
lifestyle program that includes losing weight and increasing physical
activity can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes."
CDC is 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.
● Many 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.
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 is the
seventh leading cause of death in the United States. People with
diabetes are more likely to suffer from complications such as
high blood pressure, kidney failure, blindness and amputations of
feet and legs. Diabetes costs $174 billion annually, including $116
billion in direct medical expenses.