About Diabetes

Facts and Figures

Diabetes in the United States | Race for a Cure | Medical Expenditures Attributed to Diabetes
Indirect Costs of Diabetes

Complications from Diabetes

Heart Disease | Stroke | High Blood Pressure | Blindness | Kidney Disease | Nervous System Disease
Amputations | Dental Disease | Complications of Pregnancy | Other Complications

Facts and Figures

Diabetes in the United States

  • Total: 29.1 million people - 9.3 percent of the population--have diabetes. Of those with diabetes, approximately 21 million are diagnosed while 8.1 million remain undiagnosed.
  • Type 1 Diabetes (Body cannot produce insulin):  5 percent of cases.
  • Type 2 Diabetes (Body fails to use insulin properly): 90-95 percent of cases.
  • In 2012, about 208,000 people younger than 20 years have diagnosed diabetes (type 1 or type 2). This represents 0.25 percent of all people in this age group. 
  • During 2008–2009, an estimated 18,436 people younger than 20 years in the United States were newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes annually, and 5,089 people younger than 20 years were newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes annually. 
  • Compared with other groups, non-Hispanic white children and adolescents had the highest rate of new cases of type 1 diabetes. 
  • In 2012, 1.7 million new diabetes cases were reported for people 20 years and older. 
  • From 2009-2012, 37 percent of U.S. adults aged 20 years or older had prediabetes (51 perecent of those aged 65 years or older). Applying this percentage to the entire U.S. population in 2012 yields an estimated 86 million Americans aged 20 years or older with prediabetes.
  • The rates of diagnosed diabetes by race/ethnic background are: 7.6 percent of non-Hispanic whites; 9 percent of Asian Americans; 12.8 percent of Hispanics; 13.2 percent of non-Hispanic blacks; 15.9 percent of American Indians/Alaskan Natives.

In 2012 alone, an estimated $245 billion was spent on the direct (medical) and indirect (loss of productivity) costs of diabetes.

Race for a Cure

  • Every 17 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes. Each day approximately 5,082 people are diagnosed with diabetes. About 1.9 million people will be diagnosed this year.
  • In addition to those newly diagnosed, every 24 hours there are: 238 amputations in people with diabetes, 120 people who enter end-stage kidney disease programs, and 48 people who go blind.
  • One in three Americans born in 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime if current trends continue. The odds are greater for minority children – nearly one in two will develop diabetes in the same timeframe.
  • According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes contributed to the deaths of over 234,051 people in 2010.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, adult-onset blindness, lower limb amputations, significant cause of heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure and nerve damage.
  • Diabetes was the 7th leading cause of death listed on U.S. death certificates in 2010.

Medical Expenditures Attributed to Diabetes

  • Total estimated costs of diagnosed diabetes have increased 41 percent, to $245 billion in 2012 from $174 billion in 2007.
  • Direct medical costs are $176 billion, which includes costs for hospital and emergency care, office visits, and medications.
  • Indirect medical costs total $69 billion, which includes costs for absenteeism, reduced productivity, unemployment caused by diabetes-related disability, and lost productivity due to early mortality.
  • Medical expenditures for people with diabetes are 2.3 times higher than for those without diabetes.
  • More than 1 in 10 health care dollars in the U.S. are spent directly on diabetes and its complications, and more than 1 in 5 health care dollars in the U.S. goes to the care of people with diagnosed diabetes.
  • The absolute cost of hospital inpatient care for people with diabetes has risen from $58 billion in 2007 to $76 billion in 2012. However, hospital inpatient care costs have fallen from 50 percent to 43 percent of total direct medical costs.
  • Overall pharmacy costs for anti-diabetic agents and diabetes supplies remain unchanged at only 12 percent of medical expenditures, despite the introduction of six new branded medications for the treatment of diabetes since 2007.

Indirect Costs of Diabetes

  • Estimated to be $69 billion in 2012.
  • Indirect costs include increased $5 billion for absenteeism and $20.8 billion in reduced productivity while at work for the employed population, as well as $2.7 billion in reduced productivity for those not in the labor force.
  • Additional costs stem from $21.6 billion due to the inability to work as a result of disease-related disability and $18.5 billion in lost productive capacity due to early mortality ($18.5 billion).

Data are from the American Diabetes Association.

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Complications from Diabetes

Heart Disease

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of diabetes-related deaths. Adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about 2 to 4 times higher than adults without diabetes.
  • In 2004, heart disease was noted on 68% of diabetes-related death certificates among people aged 65 or older.


  • The risk for stroke is 2 to 4 times higher among people with diabetes.

High Blood Pressure

  • About 67 percent of adults with diabetes have blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90mm Hg or use prescription medications for hypertension.


  • Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults 20 to 74 years old.
  • Diabetic retinopathy causes from 12,000 to 24,000 new cases of blindness each year.

Kidney Disease

  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure accounting for 44 percent of new cases of kidney failure in 2008.
  • In 2008, 48,374people with diabetes began treatment for end-stage renal disease.
  • In 2008, a total of 202, 290 people with diabetes were living on chronic dialysis or with a kidney transplant.

Nervous System Disease

  • About 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nervous system damage. The results of such damage include impaired sensation or pain in the feet or hands, slowed digestion of food in the stomach, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other nerve problems.
  • Almost 30 percent of people with diabetes aged 40 years or older have impaired sensation in the feet.
  • Severe forms of diabetic nerve disease are a major contributing cause of lower-extremity amputations.

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  • Diabetes is the leading cause of nontraumatic lower-limb amputations. More than 60 percent of nontraumatic lower-limb amputations in the United States occur among people with diabetes.
  • In 2006, about 65,700nontraumatic lower-limb amputations were performed each year among people with diabetes.

Dental Disease

  • Periodontal or gum diseases are more common among people with diabetes than among people without diabetes. Among young adults, those with diabetes are have about twice the risk of those without diabetes.
  • Adults aged 45 years or older with poorly controlled diabetes were 2.9 times more likely to have sever periodontitis than those without diabetes.
  • About one third of people with diabetes have severe periodontal diseases with loss of attachment of the gums to the teeth measuring 5 millimeters or more.

Complications of Pregnancy

  • Poorly controlled diabetes before conception and during the first trimester of pregnancy in women with type 1 diabetes can cause major birth defects in 5 to 10 percent of pregnancies and spontaneous abortions in 15 to 20 percent of pregnancies.  However, for a woman with pre=existing diabetes, optimizing blood glucose levels before and during early pregnancy can reduce the risk of birth defects in their infants.
  • Poorly controlled diabetes during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy can result in excessively large babies, posing a risk to the mother and the child.

Other Complications

  • Uncontrolled diabetes often leads to biochemical imbalances that can cause acute life-threatening events, such as diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar (nonketotic) coma.
  • People with diabetes are more susceptible to many other illnesses and, once they acquire these illnesses, often have a worse prognosis than people without diabetes. For example, they are more likely to die with pneumonia or influenza than people who do not have diabetes.
  • People with diabetes aged 60 years or older are 2-3 times more likely to report an inability to walk one quarter of a mile, climb stairs, or do housework compared with people without diabetes in the same age group.
  • People with diabetes are twice as likely to have depression, which can complicate diabetes management, than people without diabetes.  In addition, depressioin is associated with a 60 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

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