Diabetes 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, nervous system disease, amputation, and complications in pregnancy.

The two main types of diabetes are Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and is commonly referred to as “juvenile diabetes.” Type 2 diabetes is the most common type; it is often diagnosed among adults but is becoming more common among children. Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include obesity, physical inactivity, and a family history of the disease.

In 2003, women under the age of 45 were more likely to report having diabetes than men of the same age. The rate of diabetes increases with age for both sexes; however, older men were more likely to have diabetes than their female counterparts. The rate of diabetes among women under the age of 45 was 20.6 per 1,000 women, compared to 17.6 per 1,000 men of the same age. The rates among women and men 75 years and older were 148.6 and 171.7 per 1,000, respectively.

There were racial and ethnic differences in diabetes rates among women in 2003. Non-Hispanic Black women had the highest rate of diabetes (91.2 per 1,000), followed by Hispanic women (61.0 per 1,000) and non-Hispanic White women (60.8 per 1,000); Asian women had the lowest rate of diabetes (47.1 per 1,000).

Graph: Adults with Diabetes by Age and Sex[d]

Graph: Women with Diabetes by Race/Ethnicity[d]