A world free of the devastation of diabetes.
Turning the Tide
More than 37 million people in the United States have diabetes. Another 96 million adults have prediabetes. That’s nearly a third of Americans who have diabetes or are at high risk for type 2 diabetes. This is one of the most serious public health problems our nation has ever faced, and it has enormous and far-reaching consequences.
To reduce the preventable burden of diabetes through public health leadership, partnership, research, programs, and policies that translate science into practice.
CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation (DDT) believes in the power of science to turn the tide in the diabetes epidemic. We are dedicated to putting that science into action through programs and policies that help people prevent type 2 diabetes and improve the health of everyone living with diabetes. We continue to make important strides with the understanding that much more needs to be done.
DDT remains committed to reducing health disparities and achieving health equity for people who are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes and diabetes-related complications. CDC surveillance data show that Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black adults, as well as American Indian/Alaska Native adults, are disproportionately affected by diabetes and have prevalence rates of diagnosed diabetes greater than 10%. We are working to address these health differences and promote equal health opportunities for all.
Dr. Christopher Holliday discusses DDT’s 2022-2027 Strategic Plan and how the division is working to reduce the burden of diabetes in the United States.
Our focus is to help millions lower their risk for type 2 diabetes and prevent or delay diabetes complications.
We work to promote prevention of type 2 diabetes and complications in the following ways:
- Individual-level prevention: Prevent or delay type 2 diabetes among people who are at high risk, including those with prediabetes.
- Population-level prevention: Address the social and economic barriers—including a person’s economic situation, health literacy, and geographic location, among others—that make it difficult for some people to act against diabetes.
- Conduct research and track trends that inform efforts to prevent type 2 diabetes, prevent or reduce diabetes complications, and promote health equity.
- Increase awareness of the risk factors and behaviors that contribute to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
- Increase access to and participation in the National Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle change program.
To accomplish our vision, DDT is taking the following actions:
Measuring how diabetes and its complications affect people in the United States.
Studying interventions to identify what works best to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and complications.
Translating the evidence into strategies and sharing information to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and complications.
Funding and working with partners across the United States to implement programs that are proven to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and complications.
Supporting diabetes management and care
For people who have diabetes, we strive to:
- Prevent complications through improved care.
- Reduce health differences that affect people with diabetes.
- Increase access to and participation in diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) services.
Advancing health equity
In all our work, we strive to advance equity so that all people have the fair and just opportunity to prevent type 2 diabetes, manage diabetes, and live their healthiest lives. We work to:
- Embed health equity principles in all aspects of our research, programs, data, and surveillance.
- Identify and test ways to reduce health inequities and work with partners to implement these strategies in communities across the United States.
- Seek out and strengthen partnerships to advance health equity.
We collect, study, and share data on new and existing cases of diabetes, risk factors, care practices, and complications at county, state, and national levels. We evaluate existing data to understand how real-world policies and programs affect diabetes prevention and care. We provide the nation’s first assessment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes trends in Americans younger than 20 years. We also fund a collaboration that modernizes diabetes surveillance. These data and insights form the foundation of our targeted prevention and management efforts.
We lead the first-ever national prediabetes awareness campaign—DoIHavePrediabetes.org—to encourage millions of people to find out their risk and take steps to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Our Imagine You Preventing Type 2 campaign features real-life participants who worked to reverse their prediabetes when they joined CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle change program. We continuously apply insights gained from these and other campaigns to create unique, compelling, and actionable messaging.
Our proven lifestyle change program, part of the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program, helps people with prediabetes take small, manageable steps proven to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Participants learn how to eat healthy, be more active, deal with stress, cope with everyday challenges, and gain skills to maintain their healthy changes. We are dedicated to increasing access to, enrollment in, and completion of the program, as well as encouraging coverage among insurers and employers.
We work to increase access to DSMES services, which help people manage daily diabetes care—checking blood sugar, eating healthy food, being active, 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 financial impact of diabetes on the US health care system.
Through prevention and education programs and initiatives with key partner organizations, DDT is working to address social determinants of health and advance health equity for people with and at risk for type 2 diabetes. Social determinants of health are the nonmedical factors—conditions in which people are born, work, and live—that influence health outcomes. They also include a wider set of forces and systems, such as racism and economic policies, that shape daily life.