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Diabetes Statistics - United States
Updated February 2009

Incidence of Diabetes

  • 23.6 million people or 7.8% of the population of the United States have diabetes.
    • Diagnosed: 17.9 million people
    • Undiagnosed: 5.7 million people
  • Diabetes among people under 20 years of age:
    • 186,300 or 0.2 % of all people under 20 years of age have diabetes
  • Diabetes among people 20 years or older:
    • Age 20 years or older: 23.5 million or 10.7% of all people age 20 years or older have diabetes.
    • Age 60 years or older: 12.2 million or 23.1% of all people age 60 years or older have diabetes.
    • Men: 12.0 million or 11.2% of all men age 20 or older have diabetes.
    • Women: 11.5 million or 10.2% of all women age 20 or older have diabetes.
    • New cases diagnosed per year: 1.6 million people in the United States aged 20 years or older are diagnosed with diabetes every year.
  • Diabetes in African-Americans:
    • Blacks are 1.8 times as likely to develop diabetes as whites
    • Among blacks age 20 and older, about 3.7 million (14.7 percent) have diabetes
    • Blacks with diabetes are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to develop diabetes and to experience greater disability from diabetes-related complications such as amputations, adult blindness, kidney failure, and increased risk of heart disease and stroke;
    • Death rates for blacks with diabetes are 27 percent higher than for whites.
  • Cases of diabetes doubled from 1990 to 2005.

  • If trends continue unchanged, one out of three children born in 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime.

  • By 2050, 48 million Americans will have type 2 diabetes.

  • Government data suggest that 2 million US children age 12-19 have pre-diabetes.

  • The incidence of type 2 in adolescents has increased 10 times over the last decade and now constitutes just under 1/3 of new pediatric diabetes cases (it was 2% 20 years ago).
  • Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death nationally over 233,000 deaths per year
    • Underreported studies have shown that only 35-40% of decedents with diabetes have diabetes noted anywhere on their death certificate
    • Overall, the risk for death among people with diabetes is about twice that of people without diabetes of similar age.
    • National Center for Health Statistics says diabetes is the only major disease besides Alzheimer's with a death rate that continues to rise. Diabetes deaths have climbed 22 percent since 1990.

Cost of Diabetes in the United States

  • Total cost (direct and indirect): $174 billion a year (experts agree that this is underestimated)

  • Direct medical costs: $116 billion a year (Direct costs include the expense of medications, hospital stays, medical equipment, etc.)

  • Indirect costs: $58 billion a year (Indirect costs include the expense of disability, work loss, premature mortality, etc.)

  • Annual health costs of a person with type 2 diabetes is 2.3 times the average American without the disease.

Complications of Diabetes

  • Of those with diabetes, 3 out of 5 people have one other serious health problem; 1 in 3 has 2 other serious health problems; one out of 10 has 3 other serious health problems; 1 out of 13 has four or more.

  • Diabetes is a leading cause of adult blindness, lower-limb amputation, kidney disease and nerve damage.

  • 5.5 million people in the US have diabetic retinopathy; by 2050 it will increase to 16-18 million.

  • 40% of people with diabetes suffer some degree of hearing impairment.
  • Two-thirds of people with diabetes die from a heart attack or stroke.

  • Congestive heart failure occurs in 8% of Americans with diabetes; heart attacks occur in almost 10% compared to less than 2% in non-diabetics; coronary artery disease occurs in 9%.

  • Approximately 28% develop chronic kidney disease.

  • 7% develop strokes.

  • 23% have foot problems, including numbness and amputations.

  • The risk for lower extremity amputation (LEA) is estimated at 15 to 40 times higher among persons with diabetes than among persons without diabetes.

  • Every 24 hours:
    • 4,100 new cases of diabetes are diagnosed
    • 810 die from diabetes
    • 230 people with diabetes will have a diabetes-related amputation
    • 120 new patients will require kidney dialysis or transplant
    • 55 will go blind

  • Nearly 65% of individuals with diabetes die from cardiovascular disease in the U.S., establishing it as the leading cause of death among this growing segment of the population

Sources: National Diabetes Fact Sheet of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Heath Promotion; NCHS; CDC; ADA; AACE

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