Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Number of People with Diabetes Increases to 24 Million

Diabetes now affects nearly 24 million people in the United States, an
increase of more than 3 million in approximately two years, according to
new 2007 prevalence data estimates released today by the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This means that nearly 8 percent
of the U.S. population has diabetes.

In addition to the 24 million with diabetes, another 57 million people
are estimated to have pre-diabetes, a condition that puts people at
increased risk for diabetes. Among people with diabetes, those who do
not know they have the disease decreased from 30 percent to 25 percent
over a two-year period.

"These new estimates have both good news and bad news, said Dr. Ann
Albright, director of the CDC Division of Diabetes Translation. "It is
concerning to know that we have more people developing diabetes, and
these data are a reminder of the importance of increasing awareness of
this condition, especially among people who are at high risk. On the
other hand, it is good to see that more people are aware that they have
diabetes. That is an indication that our efforts to increase awareness
are working, and more importantly, that more people are better prepared
to manage this disease and its complications."

Diabetes is a disease associated with high levels of blood glucose
resulting from defects in insulin production that causes sugar to build
up in the body. It is the seventh leading cause of death in the country
and can cause serious health complications including heart disease,
blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations.

Among adults, diabetes increased in both men and women and in all age
groups, but still disproportionately affects the elderly. Almost 25
percent of the population 60 years and older had diabetes in 2007. And,
as in previous years, disparities exist among ethnic groups and minority
populations including Native Americans, blacks and Hispanics. After
adjusting for population age differences between the groups, the rate of
diagnosed diabetes was highest among Native Americans and Alaska Natives
(16.5 percent). This was followed by blacks (11.8 percent) and Hispanics
(10.4 percent), which includes rates for Puerto Ricans (12.6 percent),
Mexican Americans (11.9 percent), and Cubans (8.2 percent). By
comparison, the rate for Asian Americans was 7.5 percent with whites at
6.6 percent.

The data are an update of diabetes prevalence estimates last reported
two years ago and now published in the 2007 National Diabetes Fact Sheet
developed by CDC in collaboration with multiple agencies under the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies.

CDC also is releasing estimates of diagnosed diabetes for all counties
in the United States. Derived from the agency's Behavioral Risk Factor
Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) and census data, the estimates provide a
clearer picture of areas within states that have higher diabetes rates.
Nationally, the data indicate increased diabetes rates in areas of the
Southeast and Appalachia that have traditionally been recognized as
being at higher risk for many chronic diseases, including heart disease
and stroke.

"These data are an important step in identifying the places in a state
that have the greatest number of people affected by diabetes," said Dr.
Albright. "If states know which communities or areas have more people
with diabetes, they can use that information to target their efforts or
tailor them to meet the needs of specific communities."

CDC, through its Division of Diabetes Translation, funds diabetes
prevention and control programs in all 50 states, as well as the
District of Columbia and eight U.S. territories and island
jurisdictions. The National Diabetes Education Program, co-sponsored by
CDC and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), provides diabetes
education to improve the treatment and outcomes for people with
diabetes, promote early diagnosis, and prevent or delay the onset of

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