Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes, according to new estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, an estimated 79 million U.S. adults have prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes raises a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Diabetes affects 8.3% of Americans of all ages, and 11.3% of adults aged 20 and older, according to the National Diabetes Fact Sheet for 2011. About 27% of those with diabetes—7 million Americans—do not know they have the disease. Prediabetes affects 35% of adults aged 20 and older.
“These distressing numbers show how important it is to prevent type 2 diabetes and to help those who have diabetes manage the disease to prevent serious complications such as kidney failure and blindness,” said Ann Albright, Director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation. “We know that a structured lifestyle program that includes losing weight and increasing physical activity can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.”
In 2008, the CDC estimated that 23.6 million Americans, or 7.8% of the population, had diabetes and another 57 million adults had prediabetes. In a study published in 2010, the CDC projected that as many as 1 in 3 U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue.