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Frequently Asked Questions
Diabetes Statistics and Research
These publications were sources for this document:
National Diabetes Fact Sheet 2007
Preventing Diabetes and Its Complications
As of 2007, 23.6 million people—7.8% of the population—have diabetes; 1.6 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 20 years or older in 2007.
For more statistics, see CDC's National Diabetes Fact Sheet 2007 National Estimates on Diabetes.
Among Americans aged 20 years or younger, less than one-quarter of 1% (about 186,300 people) have diabetes.
Among Americans aged 20 years or older, 10.7% (23.5 million people) have diabetes.
The prevalence of diabetes is greater among older people. Among Americans aged 60 years or older, 23.1% (12.2 million people) have diabetes.
For more statistics, see CDC's National Diabetes Fact Sheet 2007 National Estimates on Diabetes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides several resources for data on Americans with diabetes.
The CDC’s Diabetes Surveillance System provides national statistics, in charts and data tables, on prevalence, incidence, and duration of diabetes; occurrence of complications such as cardiovascular disease, lower extremity conditions, end-stage renal disease, and visual impairment among people with diabetes; as well as health status and disability, preventive care practices, hospitalization, insulin and oral medication use, and risk factors for complications among people with diabetes.
The Diabetes Surveillance System also provides state data on the prevalence of diabetes, preventive care practices, incidence of end stage renal disease, health status, and disability of people with diabetes. You can also contact the state-based Diabetes Prevention and Control Programs for further state information.
The CDC publication Diabetes: Deadly, Disabling, and on the Rise provides national and state data on the rising incidence of diabetes in the United States.
The CDC’s diabetes “Fast Stats” page provides a concise list of statistics, as well.
Program and contact information for each state-based Diabetes Prevention and Control Program is available on this Web site. The CDC provides resources and technical assistance to these programs, which operated in all U.S. states and many territories.
The estimated economic cost of diabetes in 2007 was $174 billion. Of this amount, $116 billion was due to direct medical costs and $58 billion due to indirect costs such as lost workdays, restricted activity, and disability due to diabetes. People with diagnosed diabetes incur average expenditures of $11,744 per year, of which $6,649 is attributed to diabetes. People with diagnosed diabetes, on average, have medical expenditures that are approximately 2.3 times higher than what expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes. Approximately $1 of $5 health care dollars in the United States is spent caring for someone with diagnosed diabetes, while approximately $1 of $10 health care dollars is attributed to diabetes.
For more information on the expense of diabetes, see:
What are some research studies that have provided important evidence about diabetes prevention and treatment?
The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) was a federally funded study of more than 3,000 people at high risk for diabetes. The DPP showed that a 5 to 7 percent weight loss from exercise and decreased dietary fat and calories can delay and possibly prevent type 2 diabetes.
For more information, see
The 10-year Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) showed that keeping blood glucose levels close to normal helps prevent type 1 diabetes-related complications. Among the 1,441 people participants, all of whom had type 1 diabetes, those who kept their hemoglobin A1C as close to normal as possible had considerably lower incidence of diabetic eye, kidney, and nerve complications. A follow-up study showed that, 8 years after the trial ended, participants who were continuing to maintain intensive blood glucose control continued to have lower rates of complications.
For more information, see the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) fact sheet from the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse.
The Diabetes Prevention Trial -Type 1 (DPT-1) researched two methods to delay or prevent type 1 diabetes. Nine medical centers and more than 350 U.S. and Canadian clinics took part in the DPT-1. One DPT-1 trial tested whether low-dose insulin injections could prevent or delay the development of type 1 diabetes in people at high risk for developing type 1 diabetes within 5 years. The other tested whether oral insulin would prevent type 1 diabetes in people with a moderate risk for developing diabetes. However, neither trial was successful at preventing or delaying type 1 diabetes.
To learn more, see Diabetes Prevention Trial - Type 1 and Type 1 Diabetes Prevention Trials Questions and Answers from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
ClinicalTrials.gov provides regularly updated information about federally and privately supported clinical research in human volunteers. ClinicalTrials.gov gives you information about a trial's purpose, who may participate, locations, and telephone numbers for more details.
Technology has given new solutions to diabetes care. Quick-acting and long-acting insulins provide more options for managing insulin-dependent diabetes. A wider range of oral drugs are available to treat type 2 diabetes. New monitors make it easier and more comfortable for people to test and track their blood glucose. External insulin pumps can replace the discomfort of daily injections. Laser surgery can treat diabetic eye disease and prevent blindness. Successful kidney and pancreas transplantation procedures bring hope to people with organ failure.
In addition, we have learned more about how to manage diabetes and prevent complications through weight reduction, blood glucose control, and exercise. We have more successful methods of managing diabetes during pregnancy. We have also identified lifestyle changes that can help prevent diabetes.
Islet transplantation is a procedure which researchers hope will allow people with type 1 diabetes to manufacture their own insulin and avoid daily injections. Cell clusters called islets, which contain the cells that produce insulin, are transplanted from a donor pancreas into the pancreas of a person with type 1 diabetes. The goal is to transplant enough islets to produce enough insulin so that injections are no longer necessary. The long-term success and effects of this procedure are still being studied.
For more information, see Pancreatic Islet Transplantation, a fact sheet from the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse.
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Page last reviewed: December 3, 2008
Page last modified: June 23, 2008
Content Source: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Division of Diabetes Translation