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Div. of Media Relations
1600 Clifton Road
MS D-14
Atlanta, GA 30333
(404) 639-3286
Fax (404) 639-7394


October 27, 2000
Contact: CDC, Division of Media Relations
(404) 639–3286

Facts About Diabetes

  • Nearly 16 million Americans suffer from diabetes; one third do not know they have it. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.

  • The prevalence of diabetes–including gestational diabetes--among adults rose 33 percent between1990 and 1998. The increased rates of diabetes correlate with increased rates of obesity during the same period.

  • During the last decade, the prevalence of diabetes increased among men and women of all ages and ethnic groups and in nearly all states. Among individuals aged 30-39, the prevalence of diabetes increased 76 percent.

  • Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults aged 20-74.

  • Approximately 65 percent of people with diabetes have high blood pressure.

  • People with diabetes have up to 4 times the rate of heart disease as people without diabetes.

  • Preventive care services can minimize diabetes-related complications such as blindness, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and amputations.

  • Preventive care is lowest among people living in the South, people with less than a high school education, and people without health insurance.

  • Diabetes is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD, i.e., chronic kidney failure). Among Native Americans, diabetes accounts for 60 percent of the new ESRD cases each year.

  • Since 1990, incidence of end-stage renal disease attributable to diabetes has increased by 24 percent among Native Americans with diabetes.

  • Type 2 diabetes (formerly called adult onset) is increasing rapidly among children and adolescents, particularly in minority populations, and may account for up to 45 percent of new cases of childhood diabetes.

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This page last reviewed March 20, 2001

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention