Quick Facts on Diabetes

  • 37.3 million people in the US have diabetes, which is 11.3% of the population
  • 28.7 million people are diagnosed with diabetes, including 28.5 million adults
  • 8.5 million people are undiagnosed, which is 23.0% of adults with diabetes
  • 96 million people aged 18 years or older have prediabetes, which is 38.0% of the adult US population
  • 26.4 million people aged 65 years or older have prediabetes, which is 48.8% of the same age group

Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. It affects the body's ability to produce or use insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels.

In the United States, diabetes is a significant health issue, affecting millions of people and contributing to numerous complications and health problems. According to the data from table 1, the prevalence of diabetes in the US is 14.7%, with 11.3% of cases being diagnosed and 3.4% being undiagnosed.

While diagnosed cases are recognized and treated, undiagnosed cases can go untreated and lead to serious health problems. Understanding both diagnosed and undiagnosed cases is crucial for effective diabetes management and prevention.

Overview of the Data

  • 37.3 million people in the US population have diabetes. This accounts for 11.3% of the total population.
  • 37.1 million adults aged 18 years or older have diabetes, which is 14.7% of all US adults (See table 1 and 2)
  • 8.5 million adults aged 18 years or older have undiagnosed diabetes. This is 3.4% of all US adults and 23.0% of all US adults with diabetes.
  • Diabetes prevalence increases with age, reaching 29.2% among those aged 65 years or older.

The following tables showcase diabetes prevalence in the US by age, sex, and race/ethnicity Comparison of diagnosed vs. undiagnosed cases.

Table 1. Estimated crude prevalence of diagnosed diabetes, undiagnosed diabetes, and total diabetes among adults aged 18 years or older, United States, 2017–2020 (Data source: 2017–March 2020 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/statistics-report/diagnosed-undiagnosed-diabetes.html)

Characteristic Diagnosed diabetes Percentage (95% CI) Undiagnosed diabetes Percentage (95% CI) Total diabetes Percentage (95% CI)
Total 11.3 (10.3–12.5) 3.4 (2.7–4.2) 14.7 (13.2–16.4)
Age in years
18–44 3.0 (2.4–3.7) 1.9 (1.3–2.7) 4.8 (4.0–5.9)
45–64 14.5 (12.2–17.0) 4.5 (3.3–6.0) 18.9 (16.1–22.1)
≥65 24.4 (22.1–27.0) 4.7 (3.0–7.4) 29.2 (26.4–32.1)
Sex
Men 12.6 (11.1–14.3) 2.8 (2.0–3.9) 15.4 (13.5–17.5)
Women 10.2 (8.8–11.7) 3.9 (2.7–5.5) 14.1 (11.8–16.7)
Race-Ethnicity
White, non-Hispanic 11.0 (9.4–12.8) 2.7 (1.7–4.2) 13.6 (11.4–16.2)
Black, non-Hispanic 12.7 (10.7–15.0) 4.7 (3.3–6.5) 17.4 (15.2–19.8)
Asian, non-Hispanic 11.3 (9.7–13.1) 5.4 (3.5–8.3) 16.7 (14.0–19.8)
Hispanic 11.1 (9.5–13.0) 4.4 (3.3–5.8) 15.5 (13.8–17.3)

Table 2. Estimated number of adults aged 18 years or older with diagnosed diabetes, undiagnosed diabetes, and total diabetes, United States, 2019 (Data sources: 2017–March 2020 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; 2019 US Census Bureau data. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/statistics-report/diagnosed-undiagnosed-diabetes.html )

Characteristic Diagnosed diabetes Number in Millions (95% CI) Undiagnosed diabetes Number in Millions (95% CI) Total diabetes Number in Millions (95% CI)
Total 28.5 (25.9–31.2) 8.5 (6.8–10.2) 37.1 (33.2–40.9)
Age in years
18–44 3.5 (2.8–4.2) 2.1 (1.4–2.9) 5.6 (4.6–6.7)
45–64 11.8 (9.9–13.6) 3.8 (2.7–4.8) 15.5 (13.1–17.9)
≥65 13.3 (12.0–14.5) 2.6 (1.5–3.7) 15.9 (14.5–17.4)
Sex
Men 15.4 (13.5–17.3) 3.6 (2.5–4.7) 19.1 (16.7–21.4)
Women 13.1 (11.3–14.9) 4.9 (3.2–6.6) 18.0 (15.0–21.0)
Race-Ethnicity
White, non-Hispanic 17.8 (15.2–20.4) 4.3 (2.5–6.2) 22.2 (18.5–25.8)
Black, non-Hispanic 3.9 (3.3–4.6) 1.5 (1.0–1.9) 5.4 (4.7–6.1)
Asian, non-Hispanic 1.8 (1.5–2.1) 0.9 (0.5–1.2) 2.7 (2.2–3.1)
Hispanic 4.7 (4.0–5.3) 1.8 (1.3–2.3) 6.5 (5.8–7.2)

Total Diabetes Prevalence in the Us

The data provides important insights into the prevalence of diabetes in the US. With a total diabetes prevalence of 14.7%, it is clear that this condition is a significant public health concern in the US. The prevalence of diabetes varies by age, sex, and race/ethnicity, with older age groups and certain racial/ethnic groups having higher rates of both diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes.

Prevalence by Age, Sex, and Race/ethnicity

When examining the data by age, there is a clear trend of increasing prevalence with age. The highest rates of diabetes are seen in those aged 65 and older, with a prevalence of 29.2%. This suggests that aging is a significant risk factor for diabetes, and efforts to prevent and manage the condition should prioritize older adults.

By sex, men had slightly higher prevalence rates than women, with a prevalence of 15.4% compared to 14.1% in women. This difference may be due to biological or lifestyle factors, and warrants further investigation.

By race/ethnicity, there were some variations in prevalence rates across different groups. Black, non-Hispanic individuals had the highest prevalence of diabetes, with a prevalence of 17.4%. Asian, non-Hispanic individuals had the highest rate of undiagnosed diabetes, with a prevalence of 5.4%. These differences may be due to genetic, cultural, or environmental factors, and suggest that tailored prevention and management efforts may be needed for different racial/ethnic groups.

Comparison of Diagnosed Vs. Undiagnosed Cases

Finally, it is important to note that undiagnosed cases represented a significant proportion of the total diabetes cases (3.4%). This highlights the need for increased efforts to identify and treat these cases, as untreated diabetes can lead to serious health problems and complications.

Prevalence of Diagnosed Diabetes

Factors Contributing to Diagnosis

Diagnosed diabetes refers to cases in which an individual has received a formal diagnosis of the condition from a healthcare provider. The diagnosis is typically made based on a combination of blood tests and symptoms. There are several factors that contribute to the diagnosis of diabetes, including genetics, lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity, and underlying health conditions.

Prevalence Rates Across Different Demographic Groups

When examining the data from the table, it is clear that the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes varies significantly across different demographic groups. For example, older adults have higher rates of diagnosed diabetes than younger adults, with a prevalence of 24.4% in those aged 65 and older compared to 3.0% in those aged 18-44. Similarly, certain racial/ethnic groups have higher rates of diagnosed diabetes, with black, non-Hispanic individuals having the highest prevalence at 12.7%.

The Impact of Diagnosed Diabetes on Individuals and Society

The impact of diagnosed diabetes on individuals and society is significant. For individuals, diabetes can lead to a range of health problems and complications, including vision loss, kidney failure, and nerve damage. It can also impact quality of life and increase the risk of premature death. From a societal perspective, diabetes is a major contributor to healthcare costs and lost productivity. Efforts to prevent and manage diagnosed diabetes are therefore critical for improving both individual and societal outcomes.

Prevalence of Undiagnosed Diabetes

Definition of Undiagnosed Diabetes

Undiagnosed diabetes refers to cases in which an individual has elevated blood sugar levels but has not received a formal diagnosis of diabetes from a healthcare provider. There are several reasons why diabetes may be underdiagnosed, including lack of access to healthcare, limited awareness of diabetes risk factors, and absence of symptoms in the early stages of the condition.

Prevalence Rates Across Different Demographic Groups

When examining the data from the table, it is clear that the prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes also varies significantly across different demographic groups. For example, younger adults have higher rates of undiagnosed diabetes than older adults, with a prevalence of 1.9% in those aged 18-44 compared to 4.7% in those aged 65 and older. Similarly, certain racial/ethnic groups have higher rates of undiagnosed diabetes, with Asian, non-Hispanic individuals having the highest prevalence at 5.4%.

The Risks Associated With Undiagnosed Diabetes

The risks associated with undiagnosed diabetes are significant. Individuals with undiagnosed diabetes may experience the same health problems and complications as those with diagnosed diabetes, but may not be receiving appropriate care and management to prevent or address these issues. Over time, undiagnosed diabetes can also increase the risk of developing other health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke. Efforts to improve detection and diagnosis of undiagnosed diabetes are therefore critical for ensuring that individuals receive appropriate care and management to prevent or minimize the impact of the condition.

Total Diabetes Prevalence: Combining Diagnosed and Undiagnosed Cases

Importance of Considering Both Diagnosed and Undiagnosed Cases

It is important to consider both diagnosed and undiagnosed cases when examining diabetes prevalence, as the combination of these cases provides a more complete understanding of the overall burden of the condition. As shown in the table, the total prevalence of diabetes in the US is 14.7%, which includes both diagnosed and undiagnosed cases. This represents a significant public health challenge, as diabetes is a chronic condition that can lead to a range of health complications and has significant societal and economic costs.

Comparison of Total Prevalence Rates to Diagnosed Rates

While the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes (11.3%) is lower than the total prevalence, it is still a significant public health concern. This high prevalence of diagnosed diabetes highlights the need for ongoing efforts to prevent and manage the condition. In addition, the prevalence rates for diabetes vary significantly across different demographic groups, indicating the need for tailored prevention and management strategies that take into account individual risk factors and cultural considerations.

The Implications of Total Diabetes Prevalence for Public Health

The implications of total diabetes prevalence for public health are significant. Diabetes is associated with a range of health complications, including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and neuropathy, which can lead to disability, reduced quality of life, and premature mortality. In addition, the economic costs associated with diabetes are substantial, including direct costs such as healthcare expenses and indirect costs such as lost productivity. Given the high prevalence of diabetes in the US, efforts to prevent and manage the condition are critical for improving public health and reducing the societal and economic burden of the disease.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the risk factors for developing diabetes?

The risk factors for developing diabetes include obesity, physical inactivity, family history of the disease, age, race/ethnicity, and gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Additionally, some medical conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and polycystic ovary syndrome can also increase the risk of developing diabetes.

What is the current prevalence of diabetes?

The current prevalence of diabetes in the US is 14.7%, according to the most recent data from 2021.

What percentage of the US population has Type 2 diabetes?

Approximately 90-95% of diabetes cases in America are Type 2 diabetes.

What is 90% to 95% of the cases of diabetes in America?

In terms of global rankings, the US ranks 3rd in the world for the total number of people with diabetes, following India and China.

Where does USA rank in diabetes?

It's worth noting that diabetes is a significant public health issue in the US, and both diagnosed and undiagnosed cases are important to consider in understanding the full scope of the problem.

Conclusion

In summary, the data presented in the table highlights the high prevalence of both diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes in the US, with a total prevalence of 14.7%. The prevalence rates vary significantly across different demographic groups, indicating the need for targeted prevention and management strategies that take into account individual risk factors and cultural considerations. The high prevalence of diabetes has significant implications for public health, as it is associated with a range of health complications and economic costs.

Areas for Future Research on Diabetes Prevalence and Management

To address the ongoing public health challenge of diabetes, there is a need for increased efforts to prevent and manage the condition. This may include public health campaigns to raise awareness about the risk factors for diabetes, screening programs to identify individuals at risk, and interventions to support individuals with diabetes in managing their condition. In addition, ongoing research is needed to better understand the underlying mechanisms driving the high prevalence of diabetes, as well as to identify effective prevention and management strategies.

The high prevalence of diabetes in the US underscores the need for ongoing efforts to address this public health challenge. By working together to prevent and manage diabetes, we can improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities, while also reducing the societal and economic burden of the disease.

Sources

To ensure that we give you correct, accurate, and relevant information, all articles on Diabetic & Me are backed by verified information from academic research papers, well-known organizations, research institutions, and medical associations.

  1. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention Prevalence of Both Diagnosed and Undiagnosed Diabetes

About the Author

Ely Fornoville

Hi, I'm Ely Fornoville, and I am the founder of Diabetic Me. Being a type 1 diabetic since 1996, I developed a passion to help people learn more about diabetes. I write about diabetes and share stories from other diabetics around the world. I currently use a Medtronic Guardian 4 CGM and a MiniMed 780G insulin pump with Humalog insulin.

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