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Women's Health USA 2013 An illustrated collection of current and historical data, published annually.

Diabetes

Narrative

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition characterized by high blood sugar and is among the leading causes of death in the United States.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. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases, with risk factors that include obesity, physical inactivity, a family history of the disease, and gestational diabetes.

In 2007–2010, 13 million women (10.6 percent) tested positive for diabetes and another 48 million women (39.7 percent) had prediabetes, where blood glucose levels were higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Those with prediabetes are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.2 Overall, diabetes was slightly more common in men (13.6 percent; not shown) and increased greatly with age: from 3.1 percent among women aged 18–44 years to 30.6 percent among women aged 75 years and older. Diabetes prevalence also varied by race and ethnicity. Non-Hispanic White women were least likely to have diabetes (8.9 percent) compared to non-Hispanic Black (16.5 percent), and Mexican American women (16.9 percent; data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site). Other minority groups have also been shown to have higher rates of diabetes.3

Diabetes can be successfully managed through diet modification, physical activity, glucose monitoring, and medication.4 Diagnosis is critical to develop a treatment plan and prevent serious complications. Among women who tested positive for diabetes, only 41.8 percent reported having been told by a health professional that they had diabetes. Non-Hispanic Black women with diabetes were more likely than non-Hispanic White women with diabetes to have been diagnosed and therefore to be aware of their condition (63.4 versus 34.9 percent).

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention link leaves hrsa.gov site. 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet. Accessed 08/20/13.

2 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases link leaves hrsa.gov site. Prediabetes: What You Need to Know. Accessed 08/20/13.

3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention link leaves hrsa.gov site. 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet. Accessed 08/20/13.

4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention link leaves hrsa.gov site. 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet. Accessed 08/20/13.

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Graphs

Data

Diabetes and Prediabetes Among Women Aged 18 and Older,* by Age, 2007-2010
Age Group Percent of Women, Diabetes Percent of Women, Prediabetes Percent of Women, Total
*Diabetes determined by Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) test ≥126 mg/dL, glycohemoglobin A1C test ≥6.5%, or 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test ≥200 mg/dL; Prediabetes determined by Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) test 100-125mg/dL, glycohemoglobin A1C test 5.7-6.4%, or 2-hour oral glucose test 140-199 mg/dL; total estimate is age-adjusted.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2007-2010. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology and Statistics Program.
18-44 Years 3.1 27.3 30.4
45-54 Years 11.1 51.1 62.2
55-64 Years 17.7 58.6 76.3
65-74 Years 26.2 53.2 79.4
75 Years and Older 30.6 53.3 83.9
Total 10.6 39.7 50.3
Diagnosis Status* Among Women Aged 18 and Older Who Have Diabetes, by Race/Ethnicity, 2007-2010
Race/Ethnicity Percent of Women, Has Been Diagnosed by a Health Professional Percent of Women, Has Never Been Diagnosed by a Health Professional
*Report of whether or not a health professional has ever told them they have diabetes among those who tested positive on a Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) test, glycohemoglobin A1C test, or 2-hour oral glucose test; all estimates are age-adjusted.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2007-2010. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology and Statistics Program.
Non-Hispanic White 34.9 65.1
Non-Hispanic Black 63.4 36.6
Mexican American 42.9 57.1
Total 41.8 58.2