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Articles » Facts About Diabetes: CDC-OC

Facts About Diabetes: CDC-OC

Article title: Facts About Diabetes: CDC-OC

Conditions: Diabetes

Source: CDC-OC


Updated September 15, 1998
Media Relations Division
(404) 639-3286

  • Diabetes mellitus is a disease caused by a deficiency of insulin, which is a hormone secreted by the pancreas.
  • About 16 million Americans have diabetes, but only about 10 million have been diagnosed. Approximately 798,000 new cases of diabetes are diagnosed annually in the United States.
  • The number of persons diagnosed with diabetes has increased sixfold, from 1.6 million in 1958 to 10 million in 1997. Diabetes is the nation's seventh leading killer and contributed to about 187,800 deaths in 1995.
  • Diabetes is classified into two main types: type 1 and type 2 . Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent), affects 5%-10% of those with diabetes and most often occurs during childhood or adolescence. Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin- dependent) is the more common type, affecting 90%-95% of those with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs after age 40.
  • Diabetes and its complications occur among Americans of all ages and racial/ethnic groups, but the elderly and certain racial/ethnic groups are more commonly affected by the disease. About 18% of Americans 65 years of age and older have diabetes.
  • Diabetes patients risk debilitating complications such as blindness, kidney disease, and lower-extremity amputations.
  • Cardiovascular disease is 2-4 times more common among persons with diabetes; the risk of stroke is 2-4 times higher; 60%-65% have high blood pressure; and 60%-70% have mild to severe diabetic nerve damage.
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