21 Million Americans Now Have Diabetes: Another 41 million people are estimated to have pre-diabetes


By: Daniel Trecroci

Just when we got used to saying that 18 million Americans have diabetes, the number has gone up three million since 2002.

That’s because new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Diabetes Education Program indicate that 21 million Americans (7 percent of the U.S. population) now have diabetes. Furthermore, more than six million of those people do not know they have diabetes. In addition, another 41 million people are estimated to have pre-diabetes, a condition that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes—the most common form of the disease—as well as heart disease and stroke.

“Recent studies have shown that people with pre-diabetes can successfully prevent or delay the onset of diabetes by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight,” says Frank Vinicor, MD, director of the CDC diabetes program.

The CDC’s 2005 National Diabetes Fact Sheet is available at www.cdc.gov/diabetes.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Highlights of the CDC’s 2005 National Diabetes Fact Sheet

  • Diabetes continues to be the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
  • In 2005, 1.5 million people aged 20 years or older will be newly diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Compared to non-Hispanic whites, diabetes continues to be more common (1.7 to 2.2 times more common) among American Indians and Alaskan Natives, non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanic and Latino Americans and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
  • The risk of diabetes increases with age. About 21 percent of Americans aged 60 years or older have diabetes. This compares to approximately 2 percent for people 20 to 39 years old and about 10 percent for those aged 40 to 59 years
  • The United States spends approximately $132 billion each year on diabetes—$92 billion in direct medical costs and another $40 billion each year in indirect costs because of missed work days or other losses in productivity.



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