Chances are, you know someone with diabetes. It may be a friend, a family member or even you, so learn about the facts, stats and impacts of diabetes.
Today, the number of people with diabetes is higher than it has ever been. And it’s not just your grandparents you have to worry about. People are developing diabetes at younger ages and higher rates. But the more you know, the more you can do about preventing, delaying or lessening the harmful effects of diabetes.
Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. Most people’s bodies naturally produce the hormone insulin, which helps convert sugars into energy. Diabetes causes the body to either not make insulin or not use it well, causing blood sugar to rise. High blood sugar levels can cause serious health problems.
With type 1 diabetes, the body can’t make insulin. With type 2 diabetes, it doesn’t use insulin well. The good news is that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes.
With prediabetes, the body may not be able to fully use insulin, or it may not make enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range, so levels are higher than normal — but not yet high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
The National Diabetes Statistics Report provides information on the prevalence (existing cases) and incidence (new cases) of diabetes and prediabetes, risk factors for health complications from diabetes and diabetes-related deaths and costs.
Key findings include:
- 37.3 million Americans — about 1 in 10 — have diabetes.
- About 1 in 5 people with diabetes don’t know they have it.
- 96 million American adults — more than 1 in 3 — have prediabetes.
- More than 8 in 10 adults with prediabetes don’t know they have it.
- In 2019, about 1.4 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed.
- For people aged 10 to 19 years, new cases of type 2 diabetes increased for all racial and ethnic minority groups, especially Black teens.
- For adults with diagnosed diabetes:
- 69% had high blood pressure, and 44% had high cholesterol.
- 39% had chronic kidney disease, and 12% reported having vision impairment or blindness.
- Diabetes was highest among Black and Hispanic/Latino adults, in both men and women.
Diabetes and diabetes-related health complications can be serious and costly. The seventh leading cause of death in the United States, diabetes costs a total estimated $327 billion in medical costs and lost work and wages. In fact, people with diagnosed diabetes have more than twice the average medical costs.
Though there is no cure for diabetes, there are things you can do to manage it and its health complications. And if you have prediabetes, there are things you can do to help prevent it from becoming type 2 diabetes.