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Diabetes

Narrative

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition characterized by high blood sugar and is among the leading causes of death in the U.S.1 Complications of diabetes are serious and may include blindness, kidney damage, heart disease, stroke, nervous system disease, and amputation. The main types of diabetes are Type 1, Type 2, and gestational (diabetes occurring or first recognized during pregnancy). Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, but may occur at any age. Risk factors for Type 1 diabetes include autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90–95 percent of all diabetes cases. While it is often diagnosed among adults, Type 2 diabetes has been increasing among children and adolescents, as well. Type 2 diabetes risk factors include obesity, physical inactivity, a family history of the disease, and gestational diabetes.

In 2005–2008, 22 million or 11.8 percent of adults were found to have diabetes (tested positive for the condition on a fasting plasma glucose test, glycohemoglobin A1C test, or 2-hour oral glucose test). Diabetes prevalence did not vary by sex and generally increased with age for both men and women. Women aged 65 years and older were significantly more likely than younger women to have diabetes. More than 30 percent of women aged 65 years and older had diabetes, compared to 15.7 percent of 55- to 64-year-olds and 8.8 percent of those aged 45–54 years. Other data indicate higher diabetes prevalence in certain minority groups, particularly Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black, and American Indian/Alaska Native populations.1

Diabetes can be successfully managed through diet modification, physical activity, glucose monitoring, and medication.1 Diagnosis is critical to develop a treatment plan and prevent serious complications. Among women aged 18 years and older who were found to have diabetes, only 54.9 percent reported that they had been told by a health professional that they have diabetes. Non-Hispanic Black women were more likely than non-Hispanic White women to have ever been told by a health professional that they have diabetes (63.7 versus 49.1 percent, respectively). Other observed differences were not statistically significant.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet. Accessed 06/9/10.

Graphs

Data

Adults Aged 18 and Older Who Have Diabetes,* by Age and Sex, 2005–2008
Age Group Percent of Adults
Female Male
*Tested positive on a Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) test, glycohemoglobin A1C test, or 2-hour oral glucose test.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005-2008. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Information Resource Center.
18-44 Years 3.5 4.3
45-54 Years 8.8 13.5
55-64 Years 15.7 21.4
65-74 Years 30.4 30.7
65 Years and Older 33.7 29.6
Total 11.4 12.3
Women Aged 18 and Older Who Have Diabetes,* by Race/Ethnicity** and Diagnosis Status,† 2005–2008
Race/Ethnicity Percent of Women
Rural Urban
*Tested positive on a Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) test, glycohemoglobin A1C test, or 2-hour oral glucose test.
**The samples of Other Hispanic, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and persons of multiple races were too small to produce reliable results.
†Reported a health professional has ever told them they have diabetes.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005-2008. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Information Resource Center.
Total 54.9 45.1
Non-Hispanic White 49.1 50.9
Non-Hispanic Black 63.7 36.3
Mexican American 55.3 44.7

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