Prediabetes, Diabetes Affects More than 100 Million Americans

The National Diabetes Statistics Report found that 1 in 4 patients are unaware they have diabetes.

The CDC recently released the National Diabetes Statistics Report, which indicated more than 100 million adults in the United States are living with diabetes or prediabetes.

The investigators reported that in 2015, 30.3 million Americans—9.4% of the US population—had diabetes, while 84.1 million had prediabetes.

While new diagnoses are at a steady pace, diabetes is a public health concern representing the seventh leading cause of death in 2015, according to the study. Additionally, the report shows that some areas of the country have a higher incidence of diabetes.

“Although these findings reveal some progress in diabetes management and prevention, there are still too many Americans with diabetes and prediabetes,” said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, MD. “More than a third of US 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.”

Diabetes can typically be managed through exercise, diet, and medications to control blood glucose levels. Without these strategies, patients may be at an increased risk of premature death, vision loss, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and amputation, according to the CDC.

The National Diabetes Statistics Report provides important information regarding disease prevalence, prediabetes, complication risks, complications, mortality, and costs.

The CDC estimates that nearly 1 in 4 adults living with diabetes were unaware of their condition, while only 11.6% of patients with prediabetes knew their diagnosis, according to the report.

The report also showed that diagnoses increases with age. While only 4% of adults aged 18 to 44 years had diabetes, 25% of adults age 65 and older had the condition.

Rates of diabetes diagnoses were the highest among American Indians/Alaska Natives at 15.1%, non-Hispanic blacks at 12.7%, and Hispanics at 12.1% compared with Asians at 8% and non-Hispanic whites at 7.4%, according to the study.

The authors noted that diabetes prevalence was most common among adults with less than a high school education (12.6%) compared with adults who have more than a high school education (7.2%).

While diabetes prevalence was observed to be similar among men and women across racial/ethnic groups and education levels, more men had prediabetes compared with women, the CDC reported.

To address the findings and reduce the impact of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, the CDC launched the National Diabetes Prevention Program. The initiative is a behavioral change program aimed to improve eating habits and physical activity levels to reduce the risk of diabetes, according to the CDC.

“Consistent with previous trends, our research shows that diabetes cases are still increasing, although not as quickly as in previous years,” said Ann Albright, PhD, RD, director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation. “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.”