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Fact Sheet

For Release:
October 26, 2005
Contact: CDC National Center for Chronic Disease
Prevention and Health Promotion
Office of Communication

Number of Americans with Diabetes Continues to Increase

Diabetes now affects nearly 21 million Americans – or 7 percent of the U.S. population – and more than 6 million of those people do not know they have diabetes, according to the latest prevalence data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This number represents an additional 2.6 million people with diabetes since 2002. Another 41 million people are estimated to have pre-diabetes, a condition that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes – the most common form of the disease – as well as heart disease and stroke.

“Diabetes is a leading cause of adult blindness, lower-limb amputation, kidney disease and nerve damage. Two-thirds of people with diabetes die from a heart attack or stroke,” said Dr. Frank Vinicor, director of CDC’s diabetes program.

Highlights of the fact sheet:

  • Diabetes continues to be the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
  • In 2005, 1.5 million people aged 20 years or older will be newly diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Compared to non-Hispanic whites, diabetes continues to be more common (1.7 to 2.2 times more common) among American Indians and Alaska Natives, non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanic/Latino Americans, and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
  • The risk of diabetes increases with age. About 21 percent of Americans aged 60 years or older have diabetes. This compares to approximately 2 percent for people 20 to 39 years old and about 10 percent for those aged 40-59 years.
  • The United States spends approximately $132 billion each year on diabetes – $92 billion in direct medical costs and another $40 billion each year in indirect costs because of missed work days or other losses in productivity.

The 2005 National Diabetes Fact Sheet – a report that summarizes the latest estimates of Americans with both diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes – is being issued to coincide with National Diabetes Month in November. The fact sheet is a collaborative effort involving CDC and the National Diabetes Education Program and other organizations in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including the Agency for Health Research and Quality, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Indian Health Service, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the Office of Minority Health. The American Diabetes Association, the American Association of Diabetes Educators, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are also partners in the National Diabetes Fact Sheet.

The data in the updated 2005 National Diabetes Fact Sheet will help national, state, and local health officials understand the health and economic burden of diabetes and better direct efforts to reach populations hardest hit by the disease.

“Recent studies have shown that people with pre-diabetes can successfully prevent or delay the onset of diabetes by losing 5 percent to 7 percent of their body weight. This can be accomplished through 30 minutes or more of physical activity most days of the week and by following a low calorie, low fat eating plan, including a diet rich in whole grains and fruits and vegetables,” Dr. Vinicor said.

The 2005 National Diabetes Fact Sheet is available at

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This page last updated October 26, 2005

United States Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Office of Communication
Division of Media Relations