Diabetes 101

Diabetes Fast Facts

About Diabetes

  • Diabetes is a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels that result from the body's inability to produce and/or use insulin. Insulin works to convert food into energy needed for daily life.1 There are several types of diabetes1:
  • Type 1 - the body does not produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes represents only five percent of people with diabetes, and is generally diagnosed in children and young adults.1
  • Type 2 - the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. The majority of individuals with diabetes have type 2.1
  • Gestational diabetes - the body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy. Those with gestational diabetes did not have diabetes prior to conception nor does it mean they will have diabetes after giving birth. Gestational diabetes affects about 4 percent of all pregnant women.1

Diabetes in the U.S.

  • Diabetes is a growing public health epidemic affecting nearly 26 million Americans, and according to the American Diabetes Association, 1.9 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older each year.2
  • The Center for Disease Control estimates that approximately 79 million American adults have pre-diabetes, and 7 million American adults are living with diabetes and don’t know it.2
  • Fueled by rising rates of obesity, people with type 2 diabetes account for nearly 90-95 percent of all diabetes cases.2
  • Diabetes disproportionately affects minority populations — nearly 13 percent of African-Americans and 12 percent of Hispanics in the U.S. suffer from diabetes compared with just 7 percent of Caucasians.2
  • Diabetes affects older adults more frequently — among U.S. residents ages 65 years and older approximately 10.9 million or 26.9 percent reported having diabetes in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control.2

Morbidity and Mortality

  • Overall, the risk of death among people with diabetes is about twice that of people without diabetes of similar age.2
  • Diabetes is the seventh leading cause in death.2
  • There is a significant association between diabetes and cardiovascular disease and stroke. Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.3

Heath Care Costs

  • The U.S. spends approximately $245 billion annually on diabetes care with $176 billion in direct medical costs, and $69 billion in indirect costs due to disability, work loss and premature mortality.4
  • 1 out of 3 Medicare dollars is spent on diabetes, with a high percentage attributed to tertiary illness caused by unmanaged or undermanaged diabetes.5

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1 American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Basics. Accessed April 11, 2021. https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National diabetes fact sheet: national estimates and general information on diabetes and prediabetes in the United States, 2011. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011.
3 American Diabetes Association. Living With Diabetes. Accessed April 11, 2021. https://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/stroke.html
4 Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2012. Diabetes Care. American Diabetes Association. 2021.
5 American Diabetes Association. Medicaid and Medicare Coverage for Diabetes. Accessed April 11, 2021. https://www.diabetes.org/advocate/our-priorities/health-care/medicaid-and-medicare.html

    Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services. (2011). Medicare Healthcare Support Overview. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/CCIP/


Did You Know?

Overall, the risk of death among people with diabetes is about twice that of people without diabetes of similar age.2