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See Hemoglobin A1C Test.


A statistical process applied to rates of disease, death, injuries, or other health outcomes that allows communities with different age structures to be compared.


A procedure to cut off a limb, such as a foot, from the body. See Non-Traumatic Lower-Limb Amputation.


Beta Cell

A cell located in the pancreas that makes insulin.

Blood Cholesterol

A type of fat produced by the liver and found in the blood. Cholesterol is also found in some foods. The body uses cholesterol to make hormones and build cell walls.

Blood Glucose

The main sugar found in the blood and the body’s main source of energy.

Blood Pressure

The force of blood exerted on the inside walls of blood vessels. Blood pressure is expressed as two numbers with units of millimeters of mercury (mmHg). For example, a blood pressure result of 120/80 mmHg is said as “120 over 80.” The first number is the systolic pressure, or the pressure when the heart pushes blood into the arteries. The second number is the diastolic pressure, or the pressure when the heart rests.

Blood Lipid

See Blood Cholesterol.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

A measure used to evaluate body weight relative to a person’s height. BMI is used to find out if a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.

Bubble Chart

See Motion Chart.



Cardiovascular Disease

Disease of the heart and blood vessels (arteries, capillaries, and veins).


See Blood Cholesterol.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

Any condition that causes reduced kidney function over a period of time. CKD is present when a patient’s glomerular filtration rate remains below 60 milliliters per minute for more than 3 months. CKD may develop over many years and lead to end-stage renal disease. Also see End-Stage Renal Disease.

Confidence Interval

A confidence interval gives an estimated range of values that is likely to include an unknown population parameter.


In the Diabetes Atlas application, the data does not have breaks; therefore, the data are continuous, in a selected range of values. The data are not grouped into classes.

Coronary Heart Disease

Heart disease caused by narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the heart. If the blood supply is cut off the result is a heart attack.

County Equivalent

A unit of local government in certain states that is comparable to a county (e.g., parish, borough, and municipality). An area defined by the US Census Bureau for statistical purposes in which no county-level government exits. The District of Columbia is also considered a “county equivalent.”


When referring to a rate, the crude is an overall or summary rate for a population, without adjustment (i.e., the raw estimate).




A mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.


A condition characterized by hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) resulting from the body’s inability to use blood glucose for energy. Also see Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)

An emergency condition in which extremely high blood glucose levels, along with a severe lack of insulin, result in the breakdown of body fat for energy and an accumulation of ketones in the blood and urine. Signs of DKA are nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, fruity breath odor, and rapid breathing. Untreated DKA can lead to coma and death.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Causes vision damage to the small blood vessels in the retina. Loss of vision may result and is also called diabetic eye disease.

Diagnosed Diabetes

In the Diabetes Atlas application, a person is considered to have diagnosed diabetes if a doctor or other health professional had ever told that he or she had diabetes. Women who were told they only had diabetes during pregnancy are not considered to have diabetes.


The process of cleaning wastes from the blood artificially. This job is normally done by the kidneys. If the kidneys fail, the blood must be cleaned artificially with special equipment. The two major forms of dialysis are hemodialysis (using a machine to clean wastes from the blood after the kidneys have failed) and peritoneal dialysis (using the lining of the abdominal cavity, or belly, as a filter to clean the blood).



End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)

Total and permanent kidney failure. When the kidneys fail, the body retains fluid. Harmful wastes build up. A person with ESRD needs treatment to replace the work of the failed kidneys.

Equal Intervals

Classification method that sets the value ranges in each category equal in size. The entire range of data values (max—min) is divided equally into the number of categories chosen.

Erectile Dysfunction

Also called impotence, is the inability to get or maintain an erection for satisfactory sexual intercourse.





Gestational Diabetes (GDM)

A type of diabetes that only develops during pregnancy and usually disappears after delivery. It increases the mother’s risk of developing diabetes later in life. GDM is managed with meal planning, physical activity, and, in some cases, medication.

Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR)

Measure of kidney function, the rate at which the kidneys filter wastes and extra fluid from the blood, measured in milliliters per minute.


See Blood Glucose.

Glycosylated Hemoglobin

See Hemoglobin A1C Test.



High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Cholesterol

A fat found in the blood that takes extra cholesterol from the blood to the liver for removal, sometimes called “good” cholesterol. Also see Blood Cholesterol.

Hemoglobin A1C Test

Measure of a person’s average blood glucose level over the past 2 to 3 months. Hemoglobin is the part of a red blood cell that carries oxygen to the cells and sometimes joins with the glucose in the bloodstream. The test shows the amount of glucose that sticks to the red blood cell, which is proportional to the amount of glucose in the blood. Results are given as a percentage or as an average glucose value.

Hyperglycemic Crisis

See Diabetic Ketoacidosis.

Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar State

An emergency condition in which one’s blood glucose level is very high and ketones are not present in the blood or urine. If not treated, it can lead to coma or death.


Also called high blood pressure, a condition present when blood flows through the blood vessels with a force greater than normal. Hypertension can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney problems, and death.


Also called low blood glucose, a condition that occurs when one’s blood glucose is lower than normal, usually below 70 mg/dL. Signs include hunger, nervousness, shakiness, perspiration, dizziness or light-headedness, sleepiness, and confusion. If left untreated, hypoglycemia may lead to unconsciousness.



Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG)

A condition in which a fasting blood glucose test shows a level of glucose higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. IFG, also called prediabetes, is a level of 100 to 125 mg/dL. People with prediabetes are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT)

A condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but are not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. IGT, also called prediabetes, is a level of 140 to 199 mg/dL 2 hours after the start of an oral glucose tolerance test. People with prediabetes are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.


See Leisure-Time Physical Inactivity.


A measure of the frequency with which new cases of illness, injury, or other health condition occur expressed explicitly per a time frame. Incidence rate is calculated as the number of new cases over a specified period divided either by the average population (usually mid-period) or by the cumulative person-time the population was at risk, also known as the number or rate of new cases of a disease in a given time period.


A hormone that helps the body use glucose for energy. The beta cells of the pancreas make insulin. When the body cannot make enough insulin, insulin is taken by injection or other means.

Insulin Pump

This insulin-delivering device is about the size of a deck of cards and can be worn on a belt or kept in a pocket. An insulin pump connects to narrow, flexible plastic tubing that ends with a needle inserted just under the skin. Users set the pump to give a steady trickle or basal amount of insulin continuously throughout the day. Pumps release bolus doses of insulin at meals and at times when blood glucose is too high, based on doses set by the user.

Insulin Resistance

The body’s inability to respond to and use the insulin it produces. Insulin resistance may be linked to obesity, hypertension, and high levels of fat in the blood.

Ischemic Heart Disease

See Coronary Heart Disease.






See Diabetic Ketoacidosis.

Kidney Disease

See Chronic Kidney Disease.



Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA)

A type of diabetes, usually first diagnosed after age 30, in which people show signs of both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Most people with LADA still produce their own insulin when first diagnosed and do not require insulin injections. Some experts believe that LADA is a slowly developing kind of type 1 diabetes because patients have antibodies against the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Several years after diagnosis, people with LADA must take insulin to control blood glucose levels.

Leisure-Time Physical Inactivity

In the Diabetes Atlas application, a person is considered to be physically inactive if he or she reported not participating in physical activity or exercise in the past 30 days.


See Blood Cholesterol.

Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol

A fat found in the blood that takes cholesterol around the body to where it is needed for cell repair and also deposits it on the inside of artery walls; sometimes is called “bad” cholesterol. Also see Blood Cholesterol.

Lower-Limb Amputation

See Non-Traumatic Lower-Limb Amputation.

Lower Limit

The minimum or lowest value used in a confidence interval. Also see Confidence Interval.



Macrovascular Disease

Disease of the large blood vessels such as atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.

Macular Edema

Swelling in the macula, the part of the retina in the eye, used for reading and seeing fine detail.

Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY)

A monogenic (i.e., related to a single gene) form of diabetes that usually first occurs during adolescence or early adulthood.


Measure of central location that divides a set of data into two equal parts, above and below which lie an equal number of values.

Microvascular disease

Disease of the smallest blood vessels, such as those found in the eyes, nerves, and kidneys.

Motion Chart

A motion chart that uses bubble-like symbols to show flow diagrams of data across time.



Natural Breaks

A classification method used to identify groupings that naturally exist in the data. The classes or “breaks” (i.e., categories or intervals) are selected using a statistical process that determines the “break points” where there are relatively big jumps in the data values to best group similar values and to maximize the differences between classes.


Disease of the kidneys causing damage that allows protein to leak out of the kidneys into the urine. Damaged kidneys can no longer remove wastes and extra fluid from the bloodstream.


Disease of the nervous system that causes muscle weakness, pain, and numbness. The most common form of neuropathy in people with diabetes is peripheral neuropathy, which affects the legs and feet.

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

Fat in the liver which can lead to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis—a common liver disease that occurs in people who drink little or no alcohol—and chronic liver disease. NAFLD can be a complication of insulin resistance and diabetes.

Non-Traumatic Lower-Limb Amputation

A procedure to remove damaged feet or legs through surgery, where the injury was not caused by trauma (e.g., the injury was not caused by a car accident).




A condition in which a greater than normal amount of fat is in the body; more severe than overweight; having a body mass index of 30 or more. See Body Mass Index.



Periodontal Disease

Disease of the gums in the mouth.

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

A condition in which the large blood vessels of the legs are narrowed or blocked by fatty deposits, decreasing blood flow to the legs and feet. Also called peripheral vascular disease, PAD is marked chiefly by cramping pain, weakness, numbness, and tingling in the legs. PAD increases the chances of amputation, heart attack, and stroke.

Physical Inactivity

See Leisure-Time Physical Inactivity.


A condition classified in people who have blood glucose or hemoglobin A1C levels higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. People with prediabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.


The number or rate of existing disease cases at a given point in time.




A classification method used to group data into a certain number of categories with an equal number of units in each category, (e.g., tertiles or 3 categories, quartiles or 4 categories, quintiles or 5 categories).


Classification method used to divide data into four classes. The data are arranged in sequence from low to high values and the number of individual observations is counted. The observations are then divided into four classes, with each class containing the same number of observations.




Relationship among a set of estimates such that, for any two estimates, the first is either ‘ranked higher than’, ‘ranked lower than,’ or ‘ranked equal to’ the second.


An expression used to measure the relative frequency that an event occurs among a defined population per unit of time. It is often used more casually to refer to proportions.



Suppressed Data

Data that are not made available because the estimate is unreliable (e.g., due to a small sample size or small cell values or to a large variance).



Type 1 Diabetes

A condition characterized by high blood glucose levels caused by a total lack of insulin. This occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas and destroys them. The pancreas then produces little or no insulin. Type 1 diabetes develops most often in young people but can appear in adults.

Type 2 Diabetes

A condition characterized by high blood glucose levels caused by either a lack of insulin or the body’s inability to use insulin efficiently. Type 2 diabetes develops most often in middle-aged and older adults but can appear in children, teens, and young people.



Upper Limit

The maximum or highest value limit used in a confidence interval. See Confidence Interval.











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Page last reviewed: October 21, 2021