Facts About Diabetes

  • In the United States, more than 20 million people have diabetes. Of those, one-third do not know they have the disease.
  • Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States.
  • In people 20 years or older, 10.5 percent of all men and 8.8 percent of all women have diabetes.
  • Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes accounts for about 5 to 10 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.
  • Type 2 (noninsulin-dependent) diabetes accounts for about 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of diabetes-related deaths. Adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about 2 to 4 times as high as those of adults without diabetes.
  • The risk of stroke is 2 to 4 times higher in people with diabetes.
  • An estimated 73 percent of adults with diabetes have high blood pressure.
  • About 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nervous system damage. This often includes impaired sensation or pain in the feet or hands, slowed digestion of food in the stomach, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other nerve problems.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults 20 to 74 years old.
  • Normal blood sugars decrease your risk of eye problems by 76 percent, and severe eye problems by 47 percent.
  • Periodontal disease (a type of gum disease that can lead to tooth loss) occurs with greater frequency and severity among people with diabetes.
  • People with diabetes are more susceptible to many other illnesses. For example, they are more likely to die of pneumonia or influenza than people who do not have diabetes.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure.
  • Normal blood sugars decrease your chance of severe kidney problems by 56 percent.
  • Stress of any kind can raise your blood sugar.
  • More than half of all lower limb amputations in the United States occur among people with diabetes.
  • More than 85 percent of people who undergo amputations as a result of diabetes are smokers.
  • Half of those with type 2 diabetes already have heart disease at the time of their diagnosis.
  • As a result of diabetes, in one day 150 people have an amputation, 66 people go blind, 55 people develop kidney failure, and 500 people die.

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