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.