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CDC: 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes

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July 18, 2017

More than 100 million U.S. adults are now living with diabetes or prediabetes, according to a new report issued by the CDC.

The 2017 National Diabetes Statistics Report, which estimates diabetes and its burden in the United States, shows that as of 2015, 30.3 million U.S. residents, or 9.4% of the population, have diabetes; another 84.1 million have prediabetes. The report shows that disease numbers have held steady — the 2014 report estimated that 29.1 million people, or 9.3% of the population, had diabetes — but the cost and health burdens related to the condition continue to grow. Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2015, and the total and indirect estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. in 2012 was $245 billion, according to the report.

“Although these findings reveal some progress in diabetes management and prevention, there are still too many Americans with diabetes and prediabetes,” Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, director of the CDC, said in a press release. “More than a third of U.S. adults have prediabetes, and the majority don’t know it. Now, more than ever, we must step up our efforts to reduce the burden of this serious disease.”

Estimates for the 2017 report were derived from CDC data systems, the Indian Health Service, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the U.S. Census Bureau and published studies. Both fasting glucose and HbA1c levels were used to derive estimates for undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes.

The report also found that an estimated 1.5 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed among adults in 2015. However, nearly 1 in 4 four adults living with diabetes, or 7.2 million Americans, did not know they had the condition, according to the report. Only 11.6% of adults with prediabetes knew they had it.

Rates of diagnosed diabetes also increased with age; among adults aged at least 65 years, 25.5% had diabetes, whereas 4% of adults aged 18 to 44 years had the disease. As in previous reports, diabetes prevalence varied by race. Native Americans and Alaska natives has the highest rates of diagnosed diabetes (15.1%), followed by blacks (12.7%) and Hispanics (12.1%), vs. lower rates among Asians (8%) and whites (7.4%).

The report also includes county-level data for the first time, and shows that some areas of the country bear a heavier diabetes burden than others. The southern and Appalachian areas of the United States had the highest rates of diagnosed diabetes and of new diabetes cases. “Consistent with previous trends, our research shows that diabetes cases are still increasing, although not as quickly as in previous years,” Ann Albright, PhD, RD, director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation, said in the release. “Diabetes is a contributing factor to so many other serious health conditions. By addressing diabetes, we limit other health problems such as heart disease, stroke, nerve and kidney diseases, and vision loss.” – by Regina Schaffer

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.