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Impact of Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors appear to play roles.

Type 1 Diabetes
Results from the body's failure to produce insulin, the hormone that "unlocks" the cells of the body, allowing glucose to enter and fuel them. It is estimated that 5% of Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes
Results from insulin resistance (a condition in which the body fails to properly use insulin), combined with relative insulin deficiency. In adults, type 2 diabetes accounts for about 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.

Symptoms of Diabetes
Diabetes often goes undiagnosed because many of its symptoms seem so harmless. Recent studies indicate that the early detection of diabetes symptoms and treatment can decrease the chance of developing the complications of diabetes.

Diabetes symptoms include: frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss, increased fatigue, irritability and blurry vision. If you have one or more of these diabetes symptoms, see your doctor right away. You can also take our Online Diabetes Risk Test to find out if you are at risk for diabetes.

How Many Are Affected by Diabetes*?
  • 25.8 million: The estimated number of children and adults in the United States who have diabetes.
  • 79 million: The estimated number of Americans who have pre-diabetes.
  • 1.9 million: The number of new cases of diabetes diagnosed in people aged 20 years or older in 2010.
  • 1 in 3 children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime if current trends continue. The ratio is even greater for minority children with 1 in 2 developing diabetes in their lifetime.
  • Based on recently announced diagnostic criteria for gestational diabetes, it is estimated that gestational diabetes affects 18% of pregnancies. Prior studies have shown women who have had gestational diabetes are at risk (of up to 60%) for developing diabetes in the next 10 to 20 years.
*Statistics released by the CDC in January 2011

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