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Diabetes prevalence reaches 9.7% of U.S. population in 2016 and 2017

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October 22, 2018

An estimated 8.5% U.S. adults had a type 2 diabetes diagnosis and 0.5% had a type 1 diagnosis in 2016 and 2017, according to a study published in BMJ.

In addition, among adults with diabetes, 91.2% had type 2 and 5.6% had type 1.

“Because type 2 diabetes predominates among adults, previous reported prevalence and trends in diabetes were likely representative of this subtype,” Linda Snetselaar, PhD, of the department of epidemiology at the University of Iowa College of Public Health, and colleagues wrote. “With the continuing improvement in treatment of type 1 diabetes, more children with this form of diabetes are expected to survive to adulthood.”

The researchers used data from the 2016 and 2017 versions of the National Health Interview Survey, an annual project from the National Center for Health Statistics at the CDC that included 58,186 adults aged at least 20 years.

In the combined survey populations, 6,317 adults had a diabetes diagnosis, making for a 9.7% weighted prevalence for any form of the disease (95% CI, 9.4-10), according to the study. There was a weighted prevalence of type 2 diabetes of 8.5% (95% CI, 8.2-8.8) and a rate of 0.5% for type 1 diabetes (95% CI, 0.5-0.6).

Adults with type 1 diabetes made up 5.6% (95% CI, 4.9-6.4) of the total population to have a diabetes diagnosis, whereas the majority (91.2%; 95% CI, 90.4-92.1) had type 2 diabetes. The researchers noted that adults with type 1 diabetes were generally younger, had higher levels of education and lower BMI than those with type 2.

“Continued monitoring of the prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes among adults is particularly important because both have increased substantially over time among children and adolescents,” the researchers wrote. “As a result, cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in adults will substantially increase as the children and adolescents reach adulthood. Major risk factors for type 2 diabetes, including obesity, physical inactivity and unhealthy diets, are still problematic and without a notable declining trend. Although genetic disposition plays a critical part in type 1 diabetes, the potential role of environmental risk factors are increasingly recognized.” – by Phil Neuffer

Disclosures: The NIH supported this study. The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.