Women's Health USA 2007
Photographs of women's faces
Health Status > Health Indicators

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, and nervous system disease. Diabetes is becoming increasingly common among children and young adults. The two main types of diabetes are Type 1 (insulin dependent) and Type 2 (non-insulin dependent). Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and is commonly referred to as “juvenile diabetes.” Type 2 diabetes is more common; it is often diagnosed among adults but is becoming increasingly common among children. Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include obesity, physical inactivity, and a family history of the disease.

In 2005, women and men reported similar rates of having ever been told they had diabetes, though women under the age of 45 were slightly more likely than men of the same age group. The rate of diabetes increased 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 25.1 per 1,000 women, compared to 22.9 per 1,000 men of the same age. The rates among women and men 75 years and older were 146.4 and 170.1 per 1,000, respectively.

Non-Hispanic Black women were more likely than women of other racial and ethnic groups to have diabetes: the rate of diabetes among this group was 106.8 per 1,000 in 2005, compared to a rate of 77.1 per 1,000 Hispanic women, 71.6 per 1,000 American Indian/Alaska Natives and women of multiple races, and 69.1 per 1,000 non-Hispanic White women. Asian women had the lowest rate of diabetes (49.7 per 1,000). Most women with diabetes of all racial and ethnic groups do not take insulin, which may indicate that they have Type 2 diabetes. Non-Hispanic White and Hispanic women with diabetes were less likely than non-Hispanic Black women to take insulin in 2005.


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Women's Health USA 2007 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Women's Health USA 2007. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2007.