Risk Factors for Complications

Overweight man jogging

Risk factor data for 2011–2014 for U.S. adults aged 18 years or older with diagnosed diabetes indicated the following (Methods):


  • 15.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 13.9%–18.1%) of adults were current smokers, and 34.5% (95% CI, 31.7%–37.3%) had quit smoking but had a history of smoking at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime.

Overweight and Obesity

  • 87.5% (95% CI, 84.8%–89.7%) of adults were overweight or obese, defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 25 kg/m2 or higher. Specifically:
    • 26.1% (95% CI, 23.2%–29.3%) of adults were overweight (BMI of 25.0 to less than 30.0 kg/m2).
    • 43.5% (95% CI, 39.6%–47.6%) of adults had obesity (BMI of 30.0 to less than 40.0 kg/m2).
    • 17.8% (95% CI, 14.8%–21.3%) of adults had severe obesity (BMI of 40.0 kg/m2 or higher).

Physical Inactivity

  • 40.8% (95% CI, 36.8%–45.0%) of adults were physically inactive, defined as getting less than 10 minutes a week of moderate or vigorous activity in each of the physical activity categories of work, leisure time, and transportation.

High Blood Pressure

  • 73.6% (95% CI, 69.9%–77.1%) of adults had systolic blood pressure of 140 mm Hg or higher or diastolic blood pressure of 90 mm Hg or higher, or they were on prescription medication for high blood pressure.

High Cholesterol (Hyperlipidemia)

  • 58.2% (95% CI, 49.7%–66.3%) of adults aged 21 years or older with no self-reported cardiovascular disease but who were eligible for statin therapy were on a lipid-lowering medication (see Table 4a in the Appendix for more details).
  • 66.9% (95% CI, 58.5%–74.4%) of adults aged 21 years or older with self-reported cardiovascular disease who were thus eligible for statin therapy were on a lipid-lowering medication.

High Blood Glucose (Hyperglycemia)

  • 15.6% (95% CI, 13.2%–18.3%) of adults had an A1C value higher than 9%.
Page last reviewed: February 19, 2018