November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Across the nation organizations and communities come together to bring awareness and educate others about diabetes. For an in-depth understanding of diabetes, visit our blog titled, “Prevention and Management of Diabetes.” For the year 2021, the focus of National Diabetes Awareness Month is on prediabetes and preventing diabetes. Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. According to the CDC, an estimated 88 million American adults have prediabetes and 84% of American adults with prediabetes do not know they have it. Type 2 diabetes will develop if one has prediabetes unless lifestyle changes are made. Type 2 diabetes can cause long term damage to the heart, blood vessels, and kidneys. Lifestyle changes to help prevent the long-term damage of type 2 diabetes, includes eating healthy foods, staying physically active as part of a daily routine, and staying at a healthy weight. All of these lifestyle changes aid in bringing blood sugar levels back to normal. If you are concerned about diabetes, please talk to your doctor immediately. You can ask your doctor for a blood sugar screening to make sure you are at a healthy, safe level. To celebrate, National Diabetes Awareness Month, you can educate yourself on diabetes, donate funds to critical research developing life-changing treatment for those living with diabetes, and advocate for those living with diabetes to ensure everyone has access to the resources they need. Millions of Americans are in the fight of their lives against diabetes. Whether you’re fighting diabetes yourself or on behalf of a loved one or a stranger, it is important to make a difference in any way you can.
National Diabetes Statistics by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Total: 34.2 million people have diabetes (10.5% of the US population).
Diagnosed: 26.9 million people, including 26.8 million adults.
Undiagnosed: 7.3 million people (21.4% are undiagnosed).
210,000 children and adolescents younger than age 20 years—or 25 per 10,000 US youths—had diagnosed diabetes. This includes 187,000 with type 1 diabetes.
1.4 million adults aged 20 years or older—or 5.2% of all US adults with diagnosed diabetes—reported both having type 1 diabetes and using insulin.
2.9 million adults aged 20 years or older—or 10.9% of all US adults with diagnosed diabetes—started using insulin within a year of their diagnosis.
Prevalence of diagnosed diabetes was highest among American Indians/Alaska Natives (14.7%), people of Hispanic origin (12.5%), and non-Hispanic blacks (11.7%), followed by non-Hispanic Asians (9.2%) and non-Hispanic whites (7.5%).
American Indians/Alaska Natives had the highest prevalence of diagnosed diabetes for women (14.8%).
American Indian/Alaska Native men had a significantly higher prevalence of diagnosed diabetes (14.5%) than non-Hispanic black (11.4%), non-Hispanic Asian (10.0%), and non-Hispanic white (8.6%) men.
Among adults of Hispanic origin, Mexicans (14.4%) and Puerto Ricans (12.4%) had the highest prevalences, followed by Central/South Americans (8.3%) and Cubans (6.5%).
Among non-Hispanic Asians, Asian Indians (12.6%) and Filipinos (10.4%) had the highest prevalences, followed by Chinese (5.6%). Other Asian groups had a prevalence of 9.9%.
Among adults, prevalence varied significantly by education level, which is an indicator of socioeconomic status. Specifically, 13.3% of adults with less than a high school education had diagnosed diabetes versus 9.7% of those with a high school education and 7.5% of those with more than a high school education.
Total: 88 million people aged 18 years or older have prediabetes (34.5% of the adult US population).
65 years or older: 24.2 million people aged 65 years or older have prediabetes.
A higher percentage of men (37.4%) than women (29.2%) had prediabetes.
Prevalence of prediabetes was similar among all racial/ethnic groups and education levels.
21.6% were tobacco users based on self-report or levels of serum cotinine.
15.0% reported current cigarette smoking.
36.4% had quit smoking but had a history of smoking at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime.
Overweight and Obesity
89.0% were overweight or had obesity, defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 25 kg/m2 or higher.
38.0% were physically inactive, defined as getting less than 10 minutes a week of moderate or vigorous activity in each physical activity category of work, leisure time, and transportation.
High Blood Pressure
68.4% had a systolic blood pressure of 140 mmHg or higher or diastolic blood pressure of 90 mmHg or higher or were on prescription medication for their high blood pressure.
43.5% had a non-HDL level of 130 mg/dL or higher.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2020. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services; 2020.
2. “Prediabetes.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 22 Sept. 2020, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prediabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20355278.
3. “National Diabetes Month 2021.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/community-health-outreach/national-diabetes-month.