Division of Diabetes Translation At A Glance

CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation (DDT) is at the leading edge of the nation’s efforts to help people prevent and manage diabetes. The division works with other federal agencies, state health departments, health care providers, and community organizations to identify people with prediabetes, prevent type 2 diabetes, prevent diabetes complications through better management, and improve the health of all people with diabetes.

These efforts have helped reduce new cases of diabetes for the first time in 2 decades. Our work has also helped millions of Americans reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes and prevent or delay serious diabetes complications.

What We Do

Doctor holding a food pyramid diagram and tape measurer with vegetable in the background

With an FY 2022 budget of $193.4 million, DDT focuses on preventing type 2 diabetes, reducing diabetes complications and disability, and addressing health inequities to reduce diabetes-related disparities (differences in health across different geographic, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups). To meet these goals, DDT works to:

  • Measure how diabetes and its complications affect populations in the United States.
  • Study interventions to find out what works best to prevent type 2 diabetes and diabetes complications.
  • Fund and help guide states, territories, cities, and tribes to use proven interventions.
  • Share information to help all Americans understand and reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes and diabetes complications.

Why We Do It

Graphic image of a large group of people


with diabetes.

Graphic image of a blood sugar tester


with prediabetes.

Graphic image of a prescription bottle with money around it


in medical costs.

Graphic image of a desk with work piled up


in lost productivity.

How We Do It

Measure the Burden of Diabetes and Translate Data Into Effective Programs

professionals at conference table with tablet and computers

DDT collects, studies, and shares information to assess the burden of diabetes, helps guide public health funding and policy decisions, and measures progress toward prevention goals. For example:

  • The US Diabetes Surveillance System collects information on new and existing cases of diabetes, risk factors, care practices, and related complications at county, state, and national levels.
  • The Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Surveillance System tracks kidney disease (a serious diabetes complication) and its risk factors over time and monitors progress in prevention, detection, and management.
  • The third phase of the Natural Experiments for Translation in Diabetes (NEXT-D3) study continues to evaluate how real-world policies and programs can influence disparities in diabetes prevention and care, including projects directly related to the social determinants of health (SDOH). Launched in September 2020, the NEXT-D3 Network includes six research sites funded for five years that focus on addressing SDOH.
  • DDT continues to fund diabetes in youth research through the Assessing the Burden of Diabetes by Type in Children, Adolescents and Young Adults (DiCAYA) cooperative agreement. Five-year funding was awarded to 11 recipients to assess diabetes incidence and prevalence among US children, adolescents, and young adults and provide estimates by diabetes type, age, sex, race/ethnicity, and geographic area.

Examples of Our Impact

  • CKD Surveillance System data are used to monitor progress on 8 of the 10 CKD and kidney failure objectives in Healthy People 2030.
  • The DiCAYA Network is a CDC-funded collaboration that modernizes diabetes surveillance efforts to monitor overall trends and trends within subgroups (age, sex, diabetes type, socioeconomic status, urbanicity, and geographic area).

Help People Understand Diabetes, Their Prediabetes Risk, and How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Mother taking blood reading of daughter

Prediabetes causes long-term health risks, but usually has no symptoms. Though awareness of prediabetes nearly tripled among US adults with the condition from 2005 to 2020, most of the 96 million who have prediabetes still do not know they have it. DDT continues to help close the knowledge gap with awareness campaigns in English and Spanish. These campaigns reach groups at higher risk of type 2 diabetes where they’re most likely to engage with and act on prevention messages.

In partnership with the American Medical Association and the Ad Council, CDC leads the award-winning Do I Have Prediabetes campaign. This campaign is the first ever to raise awareness across the nation about prediabetes. The campaign reaches millions of people and encourages them to take a 1-minute test at DoIHavePrediabetes.org. The campaign website also links to organizations delivering the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) lifestyle change program, proven to help reverse prediabetes and prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in those at high risk.

DDT offers the ADA/CDC prediabetes risk test throughout its site (in English and Spanish), which enables people to quickly find out their risk of having prediabetes. People with a high score (5 or above) are urged to visit their doctor for a blood test to confirm their result. Then they can enroll in the National DPP lifestyle change program in a few easy steps. A printable version of the risk test is also available in 12 additional languages to reach key populations at risk. On Google, people can also search “prediabetes” or “type 2 diabetes” and click on the link to the DDT risk test in the Google health card that appears.

Examples of Our Impact

  • Campaign results have far exceeded expectations: 1.7 million online prediabetes risk tests completed, 9.2 million video risk tests completed, 4.9 million unique website visitors to the campaign website, and 208,000 visits to the National DPP website to find a lifestyle change program. The award-winning campaign, one of Ad Council’s most successful, continues to outpace goals because of high consumer engagement.
  • In 2021, nearly 30,000 people a month accessed the prediabetes risk test via the DDT website and Google, an important first step in understanding their risk and taking action to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes in People at Risk

Person taking a self blood test

The CDC-led National DPP is a public-private partnership working to build a nationwide system to deliver an affordable, evidence-based lifestyle change program to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

Working with a trained Lifestyle Coach, program participants learn to make better food choices, lose weight, be more physically active, and find ways to cope with problems and stress during the yearlong program. These lifestyle changes can cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 58% (71% for those over 60). The program is delivered in person, online, by distance learning, and through a combination of these formats.

CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program (DPRP) recognizes organizations that deliver the lifestyle change program effectively and achieve desired outcomes. DPRP assures the quality of program delivery by recognized organizations and provides standardized reporting on their performance.

Together with partners across the nation, CDC is committed to increasing access to the National DPP among populations most at risk, including those living in rural areas. Through telehealth, underserved populations can participate in the National DPP lifestyle change program by phone, smartphone app, computer, text, and video. Each technology can be combined with live interaction with a trained Lifestyle Coach.

Examples of Our Impact

  • 2,200 organizations have received CDC recognition for delivering the National DPP lifestyle change program and have served more than 585,000 participants nationally.
  • Currently, 158 organizations deliver the lifestyle change program online.
  • About 54 commercial health plans provide some coverage for the lifestyle change program, and Medicare began reimbursing for CDC-recognized in-person programs in 2018. This is the first preventive service model from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation Center that has been expanded into the Medicare program—a landmark for public health.

Help People With Diabetes Improve Their Health and Quality of Life

Woman walking through her front door after shopping for food

DDT works to increase access to diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) services, which help people manage daily diabetes care—eating healthy food, being active, checking blood sugar, taking medicines, and handling stress. DSMES has been shown to lower A1C levels, prevent or lessen diabetes complications, and improve quality of life. DSMES services can also lower medical expenses for people with diabetes and reduce the cost of diabetes to the US health care system.

Rural populations have higher rates of diabetes compared to people who live in urban areas, but 62% of rural counties have limited DSMES services. The use of telehealth—delivery of services by phone, Internet, or videoconference—allows more patients in rural areas to benefit from DSMES. CDC funds state and local health departments to improve access to, participation in, and health benefit coverage for DSMES, with emphasis on programs that achieve Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists (ADCES) accreditation or ADA recognition. Accredited/recognized programs meet national quality standards and may be more sustainable because of reimbursement eligibility.

Examples of Our Impact

  • In 2021, approximately 2,062 accredited/recognized DSMES programs were offered across the United States (including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands).
  • Nine states have used telehealth strategies to increase the use of DSMES services in community settings.
  • 3.7 million Medicaid beneficiaries now have DSMES as a covered benefit.

Fund Partners to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes and Diabetes Complications

Group of people going over plan to help communities

CDC supports national, community, and faith-based organizations; state and local health departments; tribes; US territories and freely associated states; and other partners to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes, improve diabetes care and self-management, and prevent or reduce diabetes complications. CDC funds these partners to:

  • Improve prediabetes awareness among health care providers and people at risk.
  • Increase access to and enrollment in the National DPP lifestyle change program and increase coverage among public and private payers and employers.
  • Improve prediabetes screening, testing, and referral to the National DPP lifestyle change program.
  • Increase DSMES access, participation, and health benefit coverage.
  • Increase use of community health workers, pharmacists, and registered dietitians to support type 2 diabetes prevention and DSMES services.
  • Partner with health care organizations to improve diabetes quality of care.

Examples of Our Impact

  • In 2020, a total of 5,878,294 Medicaid beneficiaries had access to the National DPP lifestyle change program as a covered benefit (compared with 1,400,167 beneficiaries in 2019).
  • Seventeen states have approved Medicaid coverage for the National DPP lifestyle change program and are in various stages of implementation.
  • In 2021, 912, 110 people with diabetes participated in an ADA-recognized or ADCES-accredited program providing DSMES services (including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands).

Promote Health Equity

Health Equity Highlight: Black Women’s Health Imperative

The Challenge

Providing access to the National DPP lifestyle change program to underserved populations that are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes.

CDC’s Approach

CDC collaborates with Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI), one of the first national organizations to expand the National DPP. BWHI focuses on delivering the lifestyle change program to Black women and Latina women in English and Spanish. To date, BWHI has enrolled over 3,500 participants in the program with retention rates as high as 88% and has trained over 300 Lifestyle Coaches.

Learn more about how BWHI and other CDC-funded organizations are working to provide underserved groups at higher risk of type 2 diabetes with access to the lifestyle change program.