Diabetes by the Numbers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it on Wednesday: diabetes numbers are on the rise. Although that may not be new news, the numbers themselves always boggle my mind. Here’s a quick rundown:

25.8 million children and adults in America have diabetes.

7.0 million of those living with the disease have not yet been diagnosed (while 18.8 have been diagnosed).

Let’s stop there for a minute. 25.8 million, 7.0 million and 18.8 million. It’s hard to visualize a million. One thousand, thousand! I tried searching some sort of data visualization for this, but all that I found consisted of a million dots or dollars – and I’m not talking about dots or dollars, I’m talking about people. A dot or a dollar doesn’t compare to a life, it just can’t do it justice, so let’s keep going.

79 million Americans over the age of 20 have prediabetes.

Whoa – hold up! I’m going to stop again here. 79 million: that’s one in three American adults. Now, you might notice that the CDC’s last National Diabetes Fact Sheet (released in 2008) stated that this number was 57 million. Did it go up 22 million in three years? Not quite – the new number includes data taken from the same fasting glucose numbers as before with the addition of A1C results – since they’ve been added to the list of tests that can diagnose diabetes. Even so, one-third of the adult population is epic. And epidemic.

1.9 million adults were diagnosed with diabetes in 2010 in the United States.

Time for another pause! While the data in the CDC’s fact sheet are not designed to track trends, this number went up a bit since the 2007 data. And by “a bit” I mean 300,000. If you do the math, 1.9 million people diagnosed each year means that someone is diagnosed every 17 seconds.

25.6 million people over the age of 20 have diabetes – that’s 11.3% of American adults.

10.9 million people over the age of 65 have diabetes – that’s over one-quarter of American senior citizens.

When I turn 65, I will be facing the 46th anniversary of my diagnosis. While I don’t like the idea of more and more people getting diabetes (type 1 or type 2 or any other type of diabetes), I do find it reassuring that people living longer with the disease. But here’s the bottom line, and perhaps the simplest math in all these diabetes statistics:

25.8 million + 79 million = 104.8 million

That’s 104.8 million people living with diabetes or at risk for developing diabetes.

That, to me, is 104,800,000 reasons we need to Stop Diabetes®.

Those are just a few of the diabetes statistics announced by the CDC.  You can find more on their website Denotes external link. Please see our Linking Policy and Disclaimer of Link Endorsement..

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One Response to Diabetes by the Numbers

  1. Traci Murray says:

    Seeing those numbers is kind of scary. It really brings it home just how much we need to get the word our there so more people are aware and those who can prevent it are able to. I am glad you shared this with us. I had just e-mailed our Wellness people at work about doing a company-wide e-mail on Diabetes Alert Day to try to get more people aware. I had sent them the old fact sheet. Now i can send them the new one so they have the most up-to-date info if they go ahead with my suggestion.

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