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Diabetes Fact Sheet

  • Almost 26 million Americans have diabetes, including as many as seven million individuals who have diabetes and don’t know it.

  • Diabetes kills more people than AIDS and breast cancer combined.

  • In 2007, diabetes claimed more than 284,000 American lives.

  • Diabetes costs the American people $218 billion each year, factoring together the total costs of diagnosed cases, undiagnosed diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes. 

  • Diabetes impacts all social, economic, and ethnic backgrounds.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 180 million people world wide have diabetes. This number is likely to more than double by 2030.

  • Diabetes is caused by the body’s inability to create or effectively use its own insulin, which is produced by islet cells found in the pancreas. 

  • Insulin helps regulate blood sugar (glucose) levels – providing energy to body cells and tissues.
  • Without insulin, the body’s cells would be starved, causing dehydration and destruction of body tissue.

  • Injecting insulin is not a cure for diabetes.  It is a critical life-saving component of a daily treatment program.

  • Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death by disease among adults and reduces life expectancy by one-third.

  • Approximately 4,110 new cases of diabetes are diagnosed each day.

  • Almost three million Americans are hospitalized each year due to diabetes.

  • Diabetes is the leading cause of new blindness in adults ages 20-74.

  • Sixty-five percent of deaths among people with diabetes are due to heart disease and stroke.

  • Persons with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease than people without diabetes.

  • More than 60 percent of all nontraumatic amputations occur among people with diabetes.     
  • Nearly 44 percent of all kidney failure is caused by diabetes.  Diabetic patients are 17 times more prone to kidney disease than people who do not have the disease.

  • Diabetes is also the leading cause of end stage renal disease.

  • Women with diabetes face high-risk pregnancies, which can result in babies born with many health problems.  

Source: Centers for Disease Control; National Institutes of Health; American Diabetes Association


Diabetes Research Institute Foundation
200 S. Park Road, Suite 100
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Miller School of Medicine