Diabetes is a serious, chronic condition that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar, or glucose), or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Diabetes is an important public health problem, one of four priority noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) targeted for action by world leaders. Both the number of cases and the prevalence of diabetes have been steadily increasing over the past few decades.
Diabetes: Global Impact
Diabetes caused 1.5 million deaths in 2012. Higher-than-optimal blood glucose caused an additional 2.2 million deaths, by increasing the risks of cardiovascular and other diseases. Forty-three percent of these 3.7 million deaths occur before the age of 70 years. The percentage of deaths attributable to high blood glucose or diabetes that occurs prior to age 70 is higher in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries.
Because sophisticated laboratory tests are usually required to distinguish between type 1 diabetes (which requires insulin injections for survival) and type 2 diabetes (where the body cannot properly use the insulin it produces), separate global estimates of diabetes prevalence for type 1 and type 2 do not exist. The majority of people with diabetes are affected by type 2 diabetes. This used to occur nearly entirely among adults, but now occurs in children too.
Diabetes in Canada:
Diabetes in USA:
The report confirms that the rate of new diabetes diagnoses remains steady. However, the disease continues to represent a growing health problem: Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2015. The report also includes county-level data for the first time, and shows that some areas of the country bear a heavier diabetes burden than others.
Key findings from the National Diabetes Statistics Report
The report finds that: In 2015, an estimated 1.5 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed among people ages 18 and older. Nearly 1 in 4 four adults living with diabetes – 7.2 million Americans – didn’t know they had the condition. Only 11.6 percent of adults with prediabetes knew they had it. Rates of diagnosed diabetes increased with age. Among adults ages 18-44, 4 percent had diabetes. Among those ages 45-64 years, 17 percent had diabetes. And among those ages 65 years and older, 25 percent had diabetes. Rates of diagnosed diabetes were higher among American Indians/Alaska Natives (15.1 percent), non-Hispanic blacks (12.7 percent), and Hispanics (12.1 percent), compared to Asians (8.0 percent) and non-Hispanic whites (7.4 percent).