CDC Report Recognizes That More than 100 Million Americans Have Diabetes, Prediabetes

Published Online: Friday, July 21st, 2017
As of 2015, 30.3 million Americans – or 9.4% of the US population – have diabetes and another 84.1 million Americans have prediabetes, according to a recently-released report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The National Diabetes Statistics Report, released approximately every 2 years, provides information on diabetes prevalence and incidence, prediabetes, risk factors for complications, acute and long-term complications, mortality, and costs in the United States. 

Although the findings indicate that the rate of new diabetes diagnoses is holdign steady, thanks in large part to diabetes management and prevention programs, diabetes remained the seventh leading cause of death in the US in 2015. The report also includes county-level data for the first time, and shows that some areas of the country bear a heavier diabetes burden than others.

Key findings from the National Diabetes Statistics Report note that: 
  • In 2015, an estimated 1.5 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed among people ages 18 and older.
  • Nearly one-quarter of adults living with diabetes – 7.2 million Americans – didn’t know they had the condition. Only 11.6% of adults with prediabetes knew they had it.
  • Rates of diagnosed diabetes increased with age. Among adults ages 18-44, 4% had diabetes. Among those ages 45-64 years, 17% had diabetes. And among those ages 65 years and older, 25% had diabetes.
  • Rates of diagnosed diabetes were higher among American Indians/Alaska Natives (15.1%), non-Hispanic blacks (12.7%), and Hispanics (12.1%), compared to Asians (8%) and non-Hispanic whites (7.4%).
  • Other differences include:
  • Diabetes prevalence varied significantly by education. Among US adults with less than a high school education, 12.6% had diabetes. Among those with a high school education, 9.5% had diabetes; and among those with more than a high school education, 7.2% had diabetes.
  • More men (36.6%) had prediabetes than women (29.3%). Rates were similar among women and men across racial/ethnic groups or educational levels.
  • The southern and Appalachian areas of the United States had the highest rates of diagnosed diabetes and of new diabetes cases.

“Although these findings reveal some progress in diabetes management and prevention, there are still too many Americans with diabetes and prediabetes,” CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, MD said in a press release about the findings.

To reduce the impact of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, officials with the CDC established the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP), which provides the framework for type 2 diabetes prevention efforts in the U.S. Based on the landmark Diabetes Prevention Program research findings funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National DPP includes an evidence-based, year-long, behavior change program to improve eating habits and increase physical activity to lose a modest amount of weight and significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

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