What is the prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) and prediabetes in the US?

Updated: Sep 27, 2021
  • Author: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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A 2017 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report estimated that in the United States, as of 2015, 30.3 million persons of all ages, or 9.4% of the population, had diabetes (including 30.2 million adults aged 18 years or above, or 12.2% of all US adults) and 84.1 million adults (33.9% of the adult population) had prediabetes. [10, 11]

Prediabetes, as defined by the American Diabetes Association, is that state in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. It is presumed that most persons with prediabetes will subsequently progress to diabetes. In 2015, according to the CDC report, prediabetes was present in 23.1 million persons aged 65 years or older (48.3%). [10]

A study by Andes et al using a cross-sectional analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005-2016) indicated that in the United States, prediabetes exists in approximately 1 out of 5 adolescents and 1 out of 4 young adults. [73, 74]

As estimated for 2015, diabetes occurred in 4.6 million adults aged 18-44 years (4.0%), 14.3 million aged 45-64 years (17.0%), and 12.0 million aged 65 years or older (25.2%). Of those adults with diabetes, however, 7.2 million did not know or did not report that they had the disease. [10, 11]

In 2014, the CDC reported that about 40% of US adults will develop diabetes, primarily type 2, in their lifetime, and more than 50% of ethnic minorities will be affected. This is substantially higher than previous estimates. The central reason for the increase is obesity. [75, 76]

A study by Ludwig et al found that neighborhoods with high levels of poverty are associated with increases in the incidence of extreme obesity and diabetes. Although the mechanisms behind this association is unclear, further investigation is warranted. [77]

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