Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition and a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. Complications of diabetes are serious and may include blindness, kidney damage, heart disease, stroke, and nervous system disease. The main types of diabetes are Type 1, Type 2, and gestational (occurring only during pregnancy). Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, but may occur at any age. Type 2 diabetes is the most common; it is often diagnosed among adults but has increased among children. Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include obesity, physical inactivity, and a family history of the disease.
In 2007, 9.5 percent of adults in the U.S. border region reported having ever been told by a health professional that they have chronic diabetes. This was slightly higher than among the overall U.S. adult population (8.0 percent).
Diabetes prevalence in the U.S. border region varied among women by race and ethnicity, as well as age. Non-Hispanic White women were less likely to report having ever been told that they have diabetes (6.4 percent), than Hispanic and non-Hispanic women of other races (11.0 and 13.6 percent, respectively).
Diabetes prevalence increased with age among women in the U.S. border region in 2007. Those aged 65 years and older were most likely to report having ever been told by a health professional that they have diabetes (21.6 percent), followed by women aged 45–64 years (12.2 percent), and those aged 35–44 years (4.2 percent).
Among women, diabetes prevalence also increased with Body Mass Index. Nearly 18 percent of women in the border region who were obese had ever been diagnosed with diabetes, compared to 7.8 percent of women who were overweight but not obese, and only 4.4 percent of women who were at a healthy weight (data not shown).
One objective in Healthy Border 2010 was to reduce the rate of deaths due to diabetes by 10 percent from 26.9 deaths per 100,000 people in 2000 to 24.2 per 100,000 in 2010. Limited progress has been made to date on this objective, however. The overall mortality rate due to diabetes was 26.8 in 2005.1
1 United States-Mexico Border Health Commission. Healthy Border 2010 Midterm Review – U.S. Border Area, February 2009.↑